APA’s pipeline is “head of the snake that is the Pilliga project”

25 October 2018

“We’re just the truck to get the eggs to market after they’ve been laid,” APA chairman Michael Fraser told a concerned landowner at the gas infrastructure company’s annual general meeting today.

Western Plains farmer David Chadwick replied: “We don’t see APA’s pipeline as a chicken-carrier but as a snake, the head of the snake being the Pilliga project.”

The farmer was one of a group visiting Sydney to interrogate APA’s board and chairman over its partnership in the controversial Western Slopes pipeline project with Santos. The planned pipeline will link Santos’ Narrabri coal seam gas (CSG) project to the NSW gas transmission network.

APA is responsible for building the 460 kilometres of pipeline that will cut across fertile agricultural land and traverse the length of the Pilliga state forest. 

Traditional owners, farmers and concerned APA shareholders told the board how deeply opposed they were to APA continuing to work with climate laggard Santos on the pipeline. Watch below: 

Supporting a ‘climate criminal’

Although APA says it supports Australia’s 2ºC commitment to the Paris Agreement, the company’s willingness to build pipelines for Santos, and push a gas-heavy energy agenda, is evidence that the company is merely paying lip-service to fighting climate change. 

Its business partner Santos certainly isn’t pulling its weight when it comes to climate action. Last year Santos chairman Peter Coates conceded that his company had adopted a 4º C warming pathway, and this year it emerged Santos had not adequately disclosed its methane emissions, despite methane being 86 times more damaging than CO2 over a 20-year period.

According to APA’s 2018 annual report, “gas is critical to energy security, affordability and sustainability, now and into the future.” 

Yet a recent Oil Change report argues that: “even if all coal mines were shut down tomorrow, the gas and oil in already-developed fields alone would take the world beyond the carbon budget for a 50% chance at staying below 1.5ºC of global warming.”

Keeping warming to 1.5º C means we get to save the Great Barrier Reef among other things, but APA remains clearly focused on pushing gas as a transition fuel. A growing body of research, however, shows that gas is not quite the transition fuel the fossil fuel industry likes to claim it is.

APA is classed as high risk when it comes to the risks posed by climate change on its business. Given time is fast running out for the world to limit global warming, shareholders wanted to know what kind of climate scenario APA has adopted. The answer today was none yet… Even worse, it seems APA might not even adopt a 2ºC scenario!  Watch the video:

The research is clear, we need to limit our reliance on gas, not increase it. Let’s hope APA soon adopts an energy projection scenario that’s in line with at least the Paris’ 2ºC warming goal. 

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