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5 December 2019


Climate emergency calls for urgent action on ACT’s gas emissions

The Conservation Council ACT Region has today lauched a petition calling on the ACT Government to speed up its phase out of gas and immediately stop the roll out of gas infrastructure to new suburbs as a first step to achieving emission reductions.

In a recent submission to the ACT Government’s Sustainable Energy Policy 2021-2025, the Conservation Council has recommended that the Government urgently set a timeline for the phase-out of gas to allow for a smooth transition away from the fossil fuel.

“While the ACT Government’s recent Climate Change Strategy sets a timeline for a phasing out gas by 2045, the climate emergency we are facing calls for urgent action to cut greenhouse emissions, and a timeline to get off gas by 2030 would be realistic and more ambitious,” said Helen Oakey, Executive Director.

“The ACT is leading the country with its decision to phase out gas, however we are also the only jurisdiction in Australia that currently mandates gas infrastructure in every new development as an essential service.

“Removing this requirement is the first step to phasing out gas; the very next step is to ensure that the Government stops the roll out of gas infrastructure to all new suburbs, and that newly constructed houses are prevented from reconnecting to the gas network.

“Gas is a fossil fuel, and now makes up around 20% of the ACT’s greenhouse emissions, so why allow new developments and residences to even start on gas when there are easy alternatives for home heating, cooking and hot water?

“There are many benefits to householders giving up gas – the financial incentive of not paying two connection charges, no longer using fossil fuels to run your home, and having access to efficient and safe technologies like induction cooktops and heat pumps for hot water and home heating and cooling (split systems).

“Importantly, someone has to pay for gas networks to be rolled out in new suburbs. However, as more new houses are built to be energy effiicient and all-electric, fewer households in new suburbs will sign up for gas connections, leaving network costs to be shouldered by other gas customers right across the city.

“Given that we need to significantly cut greenhouse emissions as quickly as possible, and electrify our homes so that we can run them on clean renewable electricity, it’s wasteful for the ACT to be unnecessarily extending the gas network at this time,” said Ms Oakey.

The community petition calls on the ACT Government to:

1. Immediately remove the existing mandate for gas infrastructure in new developments in the ACT,

2. Stop the roll out of new gas networks in all new suburbs, and

3. Stop all newly constructed residences from joining the gas network.

The Conservation Council’s Submission to the ACT Government Sustainable Energy Policy 2021-2025 can be found here.