Media Release Offshore Oil and Gas

Australia risks marine life for carbon capture fantasy

August 29, 2023

The Albanese Government’s announcement today that it is opening up vast tracts of our oceans for fossil fuel companies to bid and gamble on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) flies in the face of what science tells us are the risks of this unproven, unsafe and unviable pipedream..

Australian Marine Conservation Society Oil and Gas Campaign Manager Louise Morris said: “Globally, Carbon Capture and Storage has been shown to be unviable, unaffordable and unsafe, and a way to extend the life of the fossil fuel industry and ageing oil and gas fields.

“The proposed development of any offshore CCS site is likely to be used to justify ongoing fossil fuel extraction within Australia. These acreage releases for CCS risk harming our oceans and marine life, contributing to the further release of significant carbon emissions in Australia, and undermines efforts to meet our Paris Agreement climate commitments

“One of the most significant threats to marine life in the CCS exploration process is posed by seismic blasting exploration. Seismic blasting is deadly for marine life and can impact all levels of the food chain, from its very foundations, killing zooplankton more than a kilometre away, to deafening whales and driving them away from their feeding and breeding grounds. Seismic blasting damages other marine life, too, including killing scallops and impacting the immune systems of lobsters.”

“The Otway Basin CCS site has two proposals for seismic blasting, and in the proposed areas are numerous endangered species, including the blue whale and the southern right whale’s calving grounds, which would be harmed by increased fossil fuel activity.

Our oceans, marine life, climate and Australian communities should not be forced to bear the  burden of this unproven, unviable, uneconomical and unsafe technology designed to prolong  the fossil fuel industry.”