No need for gas in energy change: report

Rebecca Gredley
·2-min read

More gas is not needed to help the electricity sector transition towards renewables, a new report says.

The Climate Action Tracker report is at odds with the Morrison government's plan to expand the gas sector in a bid to reduce prices and attract manufacturing.

The government has not revealed how such a plan affects its emissions reduction goals, instead arguing it's helping other nations to replace coal with gas.

The CAT report released on Tuesday looks at ways countries can boost their responses to meet the Paris Agreement goals.

It says gas is not needed as a transition fuel and instead the local natural gas industry should begin substantially reducing its emissions.

The report, by international climate science and policy institute Climate Analytics, says gas needs to be phased out globally by the 2040s to meet the Paris Agreement.

It projects the amount of gas for power generation to drop from about 20 per cent to three per cent by 2030, one per cent in 2035 and gone by 2040.

"There is no need for any increase in gas for power generation due to the increasing cost-efficacy of battery storage, pumped hydro, demand-side management and the integration of hydrogen and electric vehicle storage systems into the grid," the report says.

"Coal-fired power can be phased out by 2030 in a planned and regulated process to enable a just transition - using renewables and advanced storage - without gas.

"By building on its extraordinary renewable energy resource and high skills base, Australia can become a regional and international frontrunner in successfully transitioning its energy system to zero carbon."

The Paris Agreement aims to keep temperature increases well below 2C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5C.

The latest scientific recommendations say net zero emissions by 2050 is needed to achieve that goal, with most of Australia's major trading partners now on board.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison isn't ready to make the pledge.

"What I'm not going to do is make a commitment to the Australian people when I can't tell them the cost of it," he told parliament.

Climate and energy policy disputes have led Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon to quit the frontbench for a junior role in opposition.

He wants Labor to loudly advocate for the coal and resources sector, putting pressure on the opposition as it finalises its stance on net zero emissions by 2050.

"We will have a complete announcement, including how we get there, before the election," Labor leader Anthony Albanese said.