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  • Writer's pictureCaterina Sullivan

Playing for Time with Oil and Gas to Transition our Energy Needs

Canberra-based sustainability consultant, Caterina Sullivan, has told a Senate inquiry into oil and gas reserves that we're simply playing for time with our reserves as we transition to renewable energy.

In a detailed written submission to the Senate Economics References Committee, Ms Sullivan said that as a businesswoman, she understood the need to continue oil and gas operations in Australia until a plan had been devised for a gradual phase-out of such operations.

"We believe that the greatest benefit to the public is for our finite oil and gas reserves to be used with economic, social and environmental sustainability being treated as the highest priority," explained Strategic Sustainability Consultants CEO, Caterina Sullivan. "We also believe reserves should be drawn upon in line with our commitment to the 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development and their 169 targets.”

"We strongly urge the Committee to consider adopting the Global Goals as a framework to ensure the sustainability of oil and gas operations in Australia while we research renewable and economically, socially and environmentally friendly alternatives. We believe the public will benefit most from divestment away from drawing on oil and gas reserves into the future; this divestment will create a brighter future for Australians," Ms Sullivan commented. “Our oil and gas reserves currently play a pivotal role in ensuring we are able to power our nation today to ensure we have a greener future.”

The submission was written in partnership with the Global Goals Australia Campaign, an Australian not-for-profit with the aim of raising awareness on the United Nations' 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development within the political, business, community and education sectors across the nation.

The submission focused on the need to achieve the Global Goals, also known as the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs, when considering the future of Australia’s oil and gas industry.

The Global Goals, also known as the SDGs, were agreed upon in 2015 at the United Nations General Assembly by all 193 United Nations member states. Ms Julie Bishop, our Foreign Minister at the time, signed on behalf of Australia.

The 17 goals are accompanied by 169 targets and 232 measurable indicators which provide a roadmap for governments, businesses, not-for-profits, educational institutions and individuals around economic, social and environmental between 2016 and 2030.

Ms Sullivan argued that the divestment away from such fuels makes good business sense while sustainably developing our nation socially and environmentally.

The submission put forward by Strategic Sustainability Consultants included 60 recommendations around the economic, social and environmental development of our energy supply.

The Senate Economics References Committee will review the information provided to them in the 30 submissions put forward by organisations across Australia and will make their report in March next year.

This article was originally published on the Strategic Sustainability Consultants website.

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