by Isabella Foley, QUT Student Guild Environment Officer
The Scarborough gas project is a huge climate destroyer that you may never have even heard of. That’s why the QUT Student Guild Environment Office will be protesting today, at 1 pm on Friday the 31st of March outside Brisbane’s BHP offices at 480 Queen Street.
The Scarborough gas project is Australia’s version of Biden’s Willow Project: a mammoth polluter backed by governments who aren’t taking any real climate action. Scarborough will tap into the Carnarvon Basin off the coast of Western Australia, and is estimated to emit over 1.3 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases. This project alone will emit three times Australia’s current annual emissions.
BHP has a 20% share in the Scarborough project. The company also merged with Woodside recently, another climate criminal stakeholder who owns Scarborough. These two partner companies, when combined, are the largest energy company listed on the ASX.
Reports show that BHP’s own renewable energy targets were out of line with the widely accepted Paris Agreement which aims to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. And honestly, why would they even try? Our own government has placed itself in the pockets of the rich and refuses to stand up to them for climate justice. They sign off on projects like Scarborough so BHP can continue to destroy the planet to make a profit.
Scarborough is proof that the climate targets Labor is setting aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. Labor constantly sets climate targets that are riddled with loopholes. No new climate targets or bills place a ban on building new coal and gas mines, even though it is widely known that mining fossil fuels is the key cause of climate change. And on top of this companies can buy carbon offset credits, which is a glorified way of saying that companies can buy permission to pollute. That’s why Scarborough can be built as the climate crisis deepens.
This is why we should protest BHP and the Scarborough gas project. There’s not enough time to wait around for the government to stand up to the mining billionaires. How can Australia truly achieve net zero by 2030 if the Labor Party is approving 117 new coal and gas projects? The Labor Party is approving these destructive projects because it serves one interest above all: profits. If it destroys the planet but makes mining magnates money, then so be it.
We have to take action into our own hands and protest anyone opposed to climate justice. The way to turn this situation around is to give the mining companies hell! We should build public opposition to Scarborough and every other project like it. A world without billionaires and fossil fuels would be one that could limit global warming and potentially reverse some of its most destructive effects.
If you hate that the rich and powerful pull the strings in society, you should protest with climate activists out the front of Brisbane’s BHP offices at 480 Queen Street at 1 pm. To find out more about Scarborough, the upcoming protest, and getting involved in climate activism at QUT follow the @qgenvironmentofficer on Instagram and QUT Guild Environment Officer on Facebook.