Scientists sign letter to stop Beetaloo fracking

Photo by Loren Elliott/Reuters

Contributed by Adam Carlton

A hundred scientists have signed a letter calling on the Northern Territory government to abandon plans for fracking the Beetaloo Basin. They say the project will inflict damage on our climate if it goes ahead.

The letter has been published in national newspapers. It reflects calls from the International Energy Agency, the United Nations, and experts around the world calling for an end to fossil fuel development.

The government claim that the project is necessary to avert what it says is an energy doesn’t hold water. There are many other ways to produce energy. Ignoring this, the fracking of Beetaloo was approved last month. The justification used was a flawed report of the Pepper Inquiry that found new risks involved. This was a case of whitewashing, because the inquiry’s scope was limited to inevitably produce a wrong report, according to the scientists.

They say the Northern Territory is failing to keep its commitment to implement all the recommendations of the Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing., aimed at ensuring there is no net increase of emissions emitted in Australia from fracking.

The signatories claim that the [project will could add up to 89 million tonnes of emissions to the atmosphere every year, which is equivalent to four times current emissions of the Northern Territory.

“Australia has been suffering severe bushfire seasons, intense flooding rains, we’re seeing our coral reefs die off before our eyes — all of these events are costing the Australian economy hugely,” UNSW Professor Matthew England said. He is a specialist in oceans and the impact of global climate change.

The Northern Territory environment minister Lauren Moss insists that the federal government’s safeguard mechanism, will ensure carbon emissions by 43 percent by 2030. This is disputed since most of the emissions will be due to processing and burning. These will not be offset.

In any case, The reliance on offsetting mechanisms is not enough to reduce emissions on the scale needed.

It’s not too late to stop this project.

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