Gas Energy Australia: Environmental Challenges Call for Next Generation Transport Fuels
Australia’s peak gaseous fuels body has called on the major parties to give gas a key role in combatting climate change and improving the environment.
“Labor, the Coalition and the Greens have all committed to cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions” said Mike Carmody, CEO of Gas Energy Australia. “Their election policies should target greater use of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in Australia’s transport sector.
“According to the Garnaut Report, the transport sector contributed 14% of Australia’s net GHG emissions. Transport-related GHG emissions will double by 2050. Currently, Australia’s long-haul fleets and mining companies rely on diesel which is a poor cousin to LNG and CNG for environment and health outcomes. Importantly, last year the World Health Organisation concluded diesel exhaust is a carcinogen.
CNG is a suitable fuel for medium duty trucks and buses while LNG is more suitable for heavy vehicles including those used in mining. Long haul, waste management, back to base, mining and other businesses could deliver environmental and health benefits to the community by including gas powered vehicles in their fleets.
More commercial and heavy vehicles running on gas would deliver improved air quality benefits by reducing hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide and particulate matter. CNG can reduce GHG emissions by up to 17 per cent and LNG by up to 20 per cent.
In recent years, the LNG and CNG industries have invested heavily in production facilities, refuelling infrastructure and technology. There are LNG fleets in Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania and some big freight operators and many bus companies use CNG. Plans are in place to build CNG refuelling sites in Melbourne and Sydney, and LNG service stations along the Hume Highway.
“What Australia needs now is an incoming government to show strong leadership so the community get the full benefits of our native gas fuels.”