NITV: Report into Beetaloo Basin exposes 'flat-out wrong' estimation of greenhouse gas emissions

October 31, 2023 11:36 AM

The latest report concludes that the proposed Beetaloo Basin project could produce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 11 per cent of Australia's 2021 emissions.

An independent report found that two Northern Territory developments will contribute much more greenhouse gas emissions than estimated.

The Emissions Impossible report, by Climate Analytics and commissioned by Nurrdalinji Aboriginal Corporation, examined the expected emissions of the Beetaloo Basin gas project and Darwin Harbour facility and was presented to a Senate inquiry.

The projects were given the green light in May of this year based on a report by CSIRO's Gas Industry Social and Environmental Research Alliance (GISERA).

CSIRO defended its research, saying it "stands behind the quality of its research and integrity of its peer-reviewed process".

But, CEO of Climate Analytics Bill Hare described those findings as "flat-out wrong".

According to Climate Analytics' research, the Beetaloo Basin project alone would total 11 per cent of Australia's 2021 emissions.

"Everywhere we looked, we found the GISERA report had significantly underestimated emissions factors," the author of the report, Thomas Houlie said.

Director of Nurrdalinji Aboriginal Corporation, Joni Wilson knows the realities of living on fracked Country.

The Yanyuwa and Garawa woman lives with her family near exploration wells in Lightning Ridge.

"We put our feet to this land and it talks to us - it's alive. As a jungayi (Traditional land manager) for my Country I have a responsibility to protect and care for it," she said.

"We don't want fracking, which this report shows will make it hotter and harder for us and future generations to live on Country."

"Country is our supermarket and already we're seeing less and less birds, turkey, fish and goannas and collecting food is becoming harder."

She said she noticed changes, particularly the longer dry seasons and heavier rains. She claims they're a result of climate change which will only increase with the greenhouse gas emissions from the proposed projects.

The Darwin Harbour hub, a development by Tamboran Resources, is estimated to cause the same damage as an additional eight million new cars on roads.

The hub's emissions alone would contribute a total similar to 13 per cent of Australia's total 2021 emissions.

Northern Territory Paediatrician Dr Louise Woodward has significant concerns for what that means for the health of those living nearby.

She said that whilst the report is "shocking" it's "unsurprising".

“Tamboran's climate-destroying emissions cannot be offset and their contribution to the climate crisis cannot be hidden," she said.

"The onshore gas industry is dangerous for the health of local people, risks permanent contamination and depletion of precious water sources, and will drive the climate emergency."