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Matthew Doman
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Santos will again join communities, business and governments in switching off the lights for one hour at 8.30pm tomorrow in support of the World Wildlife Foundation’s Earth Hour initiative to raise awareness on climate change.

Santos Chief Executive Officer David Knox congratulated the WWF on the growing impact of the Earth Hour campaign.

“Earth Hour is an important symbolic moment, which underlines the need for real action to reduce carbon emissions,” Mr Knox said.

In its 2007 “Climate Solutions – Vision for 2050” Report, the WWF identified replacing “high-carbon coal with low-carbon natural gas” as having significant short and medium term potential in avoiding locking in higher emissions from coal, and buying time for the deployment of zero-emission technologies.

“Australians can show their desire to address climate change by switching the lights off on Saturday night. Australia must show it is serious about climate change by switching to cleaner sources of power generation,” Mr Knox said.

Mr Knox said power generation was the largest source of stationary carbon emissions in Australia, and an area where dramatic reductions were possible through greater use of natural gas in producing electricity. Over 80% of Australia’s electricity is currently sourced from coal.
Mr Knox said natural gas was:

  • Clean – with carbon emissions from gas-fired power generation up to 70% lower than coal, while also using a fraction of the water.
  • Abundant – with existing resources equal to over 400 years of current domestic use.
  • Affordable – with the cost of base-load gas-fired power generation using existing, proven technology comparable to coal under a modest carbon price, and much cheaper than other fuels.
  • Australian – providing the nation with security of energy supply.

Santos supports the development of renewable energy sources, including in wind, solar and geothermal. Indeed, gas-fired power generation is a perfect partner to support the uptake of intermittent renewable power generation, providing added certainty to the supply of electricity.

Santos also recognizes that in the short to medium term renewable technologies will be unable to meet Australia’s increasing demand for base-load power requirements and hence gas provides a compelling, reliable and affordable option to help Australia’s economy transition to a lower carbon footprint.

Australian natural gas has the capacity to dramatically lower Australia’s carbon emissions, and also deliver sustainably cleaner energy to growing Asian economies through the export of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

“Our gas reserves are growing rapidly and have the potential to serve our domestic needs and provide a cleaner energy solution to Asia for decades to come,” Mr Knox said.

Santos will support Earth Hour for the third year by turning off the lights in its five Australian offices in Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Roma and Gladstone.