‘The future of gas: a pipe dream?’

Join us at the Conservation Council’s first 2019 Environment Exchange, which is a public forum that invites guest speakers and the public to come together to discuss some of the most pressing environmental issues in our Bush Capital.


‘The Future of Gas: a pipe dream?’ asks the hard questions about the role of gas in the ACT. Join us to hear from guest speakers about their views on the gas issue in the ACT and beyond. 

Why is this important?

After the ACT reaches its 2020 Renewable Electricity Target, natural gas will become the ACT’s second largest generator of greenhouse gases, accounting for 21 per cent of emissions.

Minister Shane Rattenbury said in 2018 that “Gas is going to be a significant source of emissions we’re going to need to tackle here in the ACT”.

In light of this challenge, some of the questions we will be discussing include:

  • If we want to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to zero, how can there be a place for gas? Is gas irreplaceable as an energy source? 
  • What would replace it and how would that happen? 
  • Should we distinguish between the emissions from fossil fuel gas and biogas?
  • What will become of the big industries producing and selling gas? 
  • Do we need to transition to an end date? 
  • How do we transition our community when they already have appliances in place? 
  • Does the ACT Government have a conflict of interest by having a major shareholding in a fossil fuel producer?


The event commences at 12 noon, with a free ploughman’s lunch, and tea and coffee provided.

Conservation Council President Rod Griffiths will open the event.

Conservation Council’s Maya Suzuki will be MC.

William Yeap is Evoenergy‘s Gas Networks branch manager. William’s presentation will show how a hydrogen economy is developing in other parts of the world, what is happening in Australia to develop hydrogen use and the potential for hydrogen to decarbonise the ACT gas network.

Jessica Stewart is the Sustainability Manager of the Ginninderry development in West Belconnen, which is Canberra’s 6 Star Green Star rated community.

Jessica will talk about Ginninderry’s aim to become the first Canberra suburb without natural gas, in a trial that could determine if other new developments will also be solely powered by electricity.

Dr James Prest is a Senior Lecturer in law specialising in environmental law. He is a Member of the Executive of the Australian National University’s Energy Change Institute a cross-campus inter-disciplinary network devoted to energy issues.

James will present on the policy and legal issues relating to the decarbonisation of the gas sector.

We encourage the audience to ask questions to our guest speakers. 

Decarbonising gas - resources

Energy Networks 2017 publication, ‘Decarbonising Australia’s gas networks

Discussion of the renewable gas complex and and the European path to decarbonisation – video below

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