By Nick Doyle

This month the Scarborough Gas project has been given the final approval to begin production. This comes just days after the latest IPCC report warns that the time to take action to prevent the worst effects of climate change is “now or never.” 

The Scarborough gas project has officially been given the green light to go ahead, despite outcry and opposition from numerous scientists, activists, and environmental groups.

The WA government’s approval of a pipeline licence was the last approval required for Scarborough, after CCWA’s court challenge was disappointingly rejected last month.

This final approval comes at a time when (most of) the world is trying to phase out fossil fuels. We have already surpassed 1 degree of warming and we are expected to reach 1.5 degrees by 2040.

And once-in-a-century weather events are becoming annual occurrences.

Last year the International Energy Agency (IEA) released a report which stated that no new oil, gas or coal projects could be started if net zero emissions were to be achieved by 2050. 

More recently, the third and final part of the IPCC’s sixth assessment report was released, detailing the need for global greenhouse gas emissions to peak by 2025 at the latest, and be reduced by 43% by 2030 if we are to limit warming to 1.5°C.

IPCC co-chair Jim Skea warns that “It’s now or never” if we want to limit global warming to 1.5°C. “Without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, it will be impossible,” he says.

The report also states that global coal use must be slashed by between 65 and 95 per cent. Global oil and gas use must also be scaled back by between 15 and 50 per cent based on 2019 levels.

Speaking to the ABC, Climate scientist Bill Hare, the lead author on the previous IPCC report, spoke out against Scarborough and said the report showed that gas projects were not an alternative to coal.   

“Adding more gas to the system via Scarborough and other projects is actually going backwards because it’s actually increasing emissions, not decreasing emissions,” he said.

“It’s making the situation worse, it’s causing longer term lock-in of carbon intensive energy, it’s really completely the wrong direction.”

Scarborough may have been given the go ahead by those in power, but it still has one obstacle standing in its way: the people.

The fight to stop Scarborough and other emissions intensive projects is now more urgent than ever, but if we all come together, we can make a real difference as seen with Roe 8 or James Price Point.

Climate change is the result of more than a century of unsustainable energy and land use by corporations who are more interested in turning a profit than ensuring a liveable planet for future generations.

But as IPCC Working Group III Co-Chair, Jim Skea, points out, “This report shows how taking action now can move us towards a fairer, more sustainable world.”

Take a stand and join us in saying No to Scarborough Gas: