Push to ban gas cooktops and heaters so Australia can meet its climate change targets
Grattan Institute calls for ban on gas connections Think tank ‘could happen before 2050’
Gas cooktops and heaters could be banned as early as 2050 so Australia can meet its net zero climate change targets under a proposal by a prominent think tank.
The Grattan Institute has advised state and territory governments to ban new natural gas connections to homes, shops and small businesses – which would cause particular hardship to restaurants.
Australia will fail to meet carbon emissions targets by 2050 unless gas appliances are replaced with electricity powered by renewable energy, reports Tony Wood, Alison Reeve, Esther Sackling.
“Governments need to step up and build more momentum towards an all-electric residential sector,” their report said.
‘The first step is to phase out gas and ban new gas connections to homes.’
It comes as a prominent Till Independent MP calls on the country to ‘stop the gas’.
Gas cooktops and heaters could be banned ‘as early as 2050’ so Australia can meet its net zero climate change target (Image is a stock image)
Allegra Spender, a Teal independent representing the ultra-wealthy electorate of Wentworth in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, backed the Grattan Institute report.
Allegra Spender, the MP representing the ultra-wealthy electorate of Wentworth in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, backed the Grattan Institute’s report, but stopped short of calling for a ban on gas appliances or cooktops.
‘Australia must stop gas. All-electric homes are cheaper to run, better for our health and reduce emissions But we won’t get there by wishful thinking. The federal government needs to show more courage and ambition. Important blueprint for reform by @GrattanInst,’ he tweeted.
The Grattan Institute also called for a phase-out of the sale of gas appliances ‘before 2050’ arguing that the last remaining gas appliances should be replaced with electric ones when they reach the end of their life.
It also disproved the idea that natural gas was a ‘transition fuel’ between coal-fired power plants and the switch to solar and wind renewables.
‘Increasingly this approach is becoming redundant,’ the think tank said.
‘Coal-fired power generators are not being replaced by gas when they retire.’
The Grattan Institute admits that many households will struggle to replace gas-fired appliances with electric cooktops, home heaters and water heaters because they ‘often cost more to buy than their gas equivalents’.
The think tank – partly funded by the federal and Victorian governments – recommends taxpayers fund upgrades to social, community and Indigenous housing, and provide low-interest loans or similar financing deals for homeowners and tax incentives for landlords.
But the Grattan Institute admits that many households will struggle to replace gas-fired appliances with electric cooktops, home heaters and water heaters because they ‘often cost more than their gas equivalents’ (image is a stock image)
It called on state governments to ban gas appliances in rental housing and make public housing energy all-electric.
“Fix minimum rental value that includes ceiling insulation and all electrical appliances,” it said.
The Grattan Institute’s initiative to phase out natural gas echoes a campaign from the Greens.
Victoria’s minor party wants to ban gas connections to homes by 2025
Like renewable energy advocate and engineer Saul Griffiths, the Grattan Institute has made a link between gas appliances and childhood asthma.
The report notes that gas stoves emit nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and fine particles called PM2.5.
‘These particles irritate the lungs, especially in children, whose lungs are still developing,’ it says.
The Climate Council has called on state governments to phase out natural gas connections to new housing developments and to allow local councils to ban them on these sites.
Both sides of Australian politics have committed to a goal of net zero by 2050, but Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s Labor Party has legislated a 43 percent reduction by 2030 with the support of the Greens.
The Grattan Institute’s initiative to phase out natural gas echoes a campaign from the Greens. Victoria’s Minority Party wants a ban on gas connections to homes by 2025 (pictured is a rally in Melbourne)
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