MEDIA COMMENT 23 April, 2019 12.00 AEST
Labor ‘captured’ by gas industry
Commenting on the ALP’s announcement of $1.5bn in public subsidies to the gas industry, Dan Gocher, Director of Climate and Environment at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR), said:
“In a time of climate crisis, public subsidies for fossil fuels expansion cannot be on the table. This would be a terrible investment for the Australian people and makes a mockery of the ALP’s climate commitments. We call on the ALP and Bill Shorten to reverse this position.
“This announcement demonstrates a political system fully in the thrall of the fossil fuels industry. The LNP have their coal patrons, the ALP have their gas patrons. Corporate capture is the tragedy of Australian politics. Sadly, voters are now presented with an awful dilemma – coal or gas.
“Scientists recognise it, investors recognise it, communities recognise it: fossil fuels need to be left in the ground if we want to limit global warming to below 2 degrees C. It is only politicians and those who stand to profit who fail to see this.
“The Australian economy can no longer depend on the expansion of the fossil fuels industry. The people of northern Australia deserve good, clean jobs, not destructive fracking jobs which should be consigned to history.
“The gas industry’s lobbyists, the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA), are a big part of the problem. Labor should disclose details of their meetings with APPEA and member companies in the lead up to this announcement.
“APPEA is funded by its member companies. Several of APPEA’s major members are listed on the ASX – including Origin Energy, Santos and Woodside – and use shareholders’ funds to pay their membership fees. Investors in these companies should oppose any funds being spent on advocacy that undermines the intent of the Paris Agreement.
“Australia is a laggard in the urgent global effort to reduce carbon emissions, and APPEA bears some of the blame for that. In 2014, they were prominently involved in the dismantling of Australia’s short-lived carbon price. Last month, APPEA spearheaded a campaign for a state environmental protection agency to withdraw guidelineswhich would require petroleum companies to offset emissions on new projects. And most recently, APPEA has called for the use of Kyoto carryover credits – what would amount to cheating to achieve our emissions targets.”
Contact: Dan Gocher +61 410 550 337 firstname.lastname@example.org