Climate change activists today protested against the proposed Scarborough gas project outside Woodside Energy’s annual general meeting.
The protest, organised by environmental conservation group Extinction Rebellion WA, opposed Woodside’s $16.5 billion Scarborough and Pluto LNG expansion, amid fears the project will accelerate the catastrophic effects of global warming.
Woodside Energy plans to pipe gas from the Scarborough gas fields, about 375 kilometres off the coast of WA, to an expanded Pluto processing facility near Karratha.
According to the Conservation Council of Western Australia, the project is estimated to produce 1.6 billion tonnes of carbon emissions for the next quarter of a century – equivalent to the pollution of 20,000 flights around the world every day, for the next 25 years.
CCWA says this makes Scarborough one of the most damaging fossil fuel developments in Australia.
In a statement today, Woodside chairman Richard Goyder says climate change is a complex issue for Woodside, as oil and gas will continue to be used by the world for decades to come.
“In the Asia-Pacific region, where more than one billion people are expected to join the middle-class by 2030, energy use is expected to increase,” he says.
A recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, however, has urged no new fossil fuel developments should go ahead if we aim to halve emissions by 2030.
Climate scientist Bill Hare, who was the lead author of a previous IPCC report in 2007, says the Scarborough project completely contradicts the Paris Agreement goals to reduce our emissions.
“We need to be reducing 50 per cent of emissions by 2030 in order to limit warming to 1.5 degrees. We’re already at about 1.1 degrees.
Mr Hare says in Western Australia, we’re already starting to live through those risks.
“Marine heatwaves, damage to our coral reefs, wildfires, floods. We can see the climate changes coming, and unless we limit the warming, it’s just going to get worse and worse.
“We know from the IPCC report that the warmer we get, the more extreme and catastrophic these weather events will become.”
As well as accelerating global warming, Curtin University professor in sustainability Peter Newman also believes fossil fuel projects, like the Scarborough gas project, will no longer be financially viable in the future.
“The reality is, these projects are no longer going to make money as effectively as using solar, wind, batteries, electric vehicles and other new technologies, like hydrogen.
“We must move on from oil and gas, and we have to get going very quickly,” he says.
With the upcoming federal election taking place this Saturday, XRWA Grandparents activist Tom Webster says Australians need to vote like it’s an emergency, with climate change at the front of mind.
“We all have to step up, speak up and stand up for what’s going on with our climate and how wrong it is.
“XRWA Grandparents are doing everything we can in our power to make the planet a liveable planet, as we hand it onto our children.
“If we don’t get the warming of our planet under control, we are going to tip the balance of life on earth forever.”