Doctors have today dismissed claims by the WA Government and peak industry that gas is a transition fuel, following the welcome announcements by the WA EPA for tighter regulations on pollution from the State’s large greenhouse gas emitters.
Doctors for the Environment Australia has described the WA EPA guidelines as a step forward in tackling global warming, and as significant as the Rocky Hill coal mine proposal that was rejected by a NSW appeals court on climate change grounds. DEA says the WA EPA regulations will need to be drastically increased in coming years after which new fossil fuel project proposals, including gas, will need to be shelved.
DEA is a medical organisation which is supported by health experts including Professor Fiona Stanley, a Nobel laureate and other eminent health practitioners.
DEA’s Honorary Secretary Dr Richard Yin, a Perth GP, says, “It is disappointing to see the WA Government side with the gas industry over the health of our community and the future of our children.
“WA is already facing significant impacts from climate change, and doctors are seeing an increase in emergency department presentations during heat waves. “Both the Government and the gas industry must stop peddling the myth that gas is a transition fuel. Gas is a fossil fuel and provides very little emission benefit over coal once fugitive emissions are taken into account.
“Emissions from the LNG sector is the main cause of Australia's rising greenhouse gas emissions.
“Companies like Chevron pay almost no tax and no royalties for the gas they export, so requiring them to invest in projects like renewable energy, carbon farming, environmental restoration, and clean technology to reduce their pollution is very welcome and long overdue.
“Chevron have reported $32 million per day in profits from their WA operations. Requirements for offsetting the direct carbon pollution from these facilities are likely to cost around 2% of these profits. This is a tiny impost for a huge environmental and economic outcome.
“We recognize that a lot of our WA community rely on jobs in the fossil fuel sector, and we urge the Government not to leave these workers in the lurch when the inevitable shift to lower carbon sources occurs. This is what we are seeing in the coal industry.
"The science is clear on the need to reduce emissions globally by 50% by 2030 to have a reasonable chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change."
DEA Hon Secretary and Perth GP Dr Richard Yin, 0403 028 067
DEA is an independent organisation of medical doctors protecting health through care of the environment http://dea.org.au We are supported by a Scientific Advisory Committee of distinguished health experts: Prof Stephen Boyden AM, Prof Emeritus Chris Burrell AO, Prof Colin Butler, Prof Peter Doherty AC, Prof Michael Kidd AM, Prof David de Kretser AC, Prof Stephen Leeder AO, Prof Ian Lowe AO, Prof Robyn McDermott, Prof Lidia Morawska, Prof Peter Newman AO, Prof Emeritus Sir Gustav Nossal AC, Prof Hugh Possingham, Prof Lawrie Powell AC, Prof Fiona Stanley AC, Dr Rosemary Stanton OAM, Dr Norman Swan