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The global energy landscape is undergoing a transformative shift, driven by the urgent need to address climate change and ensure a secure and sustainable energy future.

As the world’s population continues to grow, the demand for energy also increases. 

However, the need for energy and the effects of its production on the environment cannot be ignored. In recent years, more attention has been given to environmental protection and the need to secure energy sources. 

The misconception that caring for the environment and ensuring energy security cannot coexist has been debunked. Caring for the environment and ensuring energy security are not mutually exclusive and can be achieved simultaneously. 

Recently, the NT Government announced the Final Implementation Report on Hydraulic Fracturing, which will now manage the onshore gas industry with a strengthened regulatory framework for enhanced accountability and transparency, providing a green light to for the onshore gas industry to move to production approvals to operate in the Territory’s Beetaloo subbasin. The Beetaloo’s low CO2 gas will play an important role in providing the Territory, Australia and the Asian region energy security, supporting decarbonisation and the energy transition. 

Due to its cleaner-burning nature, natural gas emits lower levels of carbon dioxide and other pollutants when combusted. It can provide a flexible and reliable backup to intermittent renewable energy sources, ensuring a stable electricity supply while renewables continue to develop. Its use as a transitional fuel can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, particularly in sectors such as power generation, industry, and transportation. Additionally, advances in carbon capture technologies will allow industry to further reduce the environmental impact of natural gas production. 

Gas is a vital component in the manufacturing of many everyday products that cannot readily be replaced by renewable energy sources. In metallurgy and steel production, high temperatures and reactivity enable the extraction and refinement of metals. Additionally, gas is an essential resource for the creation of pharmaceuticals, textiles, plastics, cosmetics, and the mass production of solar panels, wind turbines and other renewable energy infrastructure to reach our net-zero targets. 

Though renewable energy sources have made progress in electricity generation, their limitations in terms of scalability and processspecific requirements hinder their full replacement of gas in these manufacturing processes and everyday products.

In recent years, oil, gas and mining companies have shown growing support and commitment towards decarbonisation and reaching net-zero emissions. Recognising the urgent need to address climate change, these industries have taken significant steps to transition towards more sustainable practices. Many of these companies are the ones who are investing heavily in research and development of cleaner technologies, such as renewable energy sources, carbon capture and storage, and advanced emissions reduction techniques. Additionally, they are actively exploring opportunities in the energy transition sector, diversifying their portfolios to include renewable energy projects. 

Through collaboration with governments, environmental organisations, and stakeholders, these companies are striving to reduce their carbon footprint, enhance operational efficiency, and implement sustainable business practices. Their commitment to decarbonisation not only demonstrates their willingness to embrace a low-carbon future but also their recognition of the vital role they can play in driving positive change and fostering a sustainable global economy. 

Caring for the environment and ensuring energy security are not mutually exclusive goals but rather intertwined objectives that can be pursued concurrently. The transition to a low-carbon economy, characterised by renewable energy sources, energy efficiency, and a diversified energy mix, offers the best path forward. By embracing environmentally sustainable practices, we can reduce carbon emissions, mitigate climate change, and enhance energy security.

 It is essential for governments, industries, and individuals to recognise the symbiotic relationship between these goals and work together to create a sustainable and secure energy future. 

Only through this collaborative effort will we strike the balance between environmental stewardship and energy security for the benefit of current and future generations.