Pacific civil society groups urge Korea to withdraw support for fossil fuel projects in Australia

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By Pita Ligaiula in Seoul

Pacific civil society groups have written to Pacific Leaders ahead of the inaugural Korea- Pacific Summit Monday requesting that they use this opportunity to request Korea to withdraw its financial and political support for fossil fuel projects in Australia.

The first Korea-Pacific Islands Summit on Monday between Forum Leaders and South Korea President Yoon Suk Yeol is co-hosted by the Korea Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries.

“We are writing to ask you to use this opportunity to request that South Korea withdraw its financial and political support for fossil fuel projects in Australia. A report by South Korean-based Solutions for our Climate found that the South Korean Government is spending about AUD$3.6 billion (US$2.4 million) on upstream gas projects in Australia,” the letter obtained by PACNEWS reads.

“An example of this is the Barossa Gas project in Northern Australia. This project has been described as a “carbon bomb” and is one of the dirtiest gas fields in the world. With 18 percent carbon dioxide content, this gas field is at least twice as carbon-intensive than any other Australian offshore gas field in Australia. It has also been described by gas company Santos as the biggest oil and gas investment in Australia since 2012,” the letter stated.

The Pacific civil society groups said if the Barossa gas is extracted, developed and burned, it will release 15.6 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

“As you are acutely aware, climate change poses an existential threat to Pacific Island nations.

“With the International Energy Agency (IEA) publicly declaring that there can be no new coal, oil or gas projects if the global energy sector is to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and help avoid catastrophic climate change, it is critical that projects like Barossa Gas do not go ahead.

Therefore, we respectfully request that you take this opportunity to raise the issue with your South Korean counterparts when you have the opportunity later this month and ask that the South Korean Government withdraw all funding and support for the Barossa gas project,” the letter said.

SOURCE: PACNEWS