Calls for accurate terminology in National Gas Laws prior to Ministerial meeting


Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Shane Rattenbury has called for accurate terminology in national gas laws ahead of a meeting of all state and territory energy ministers tomorrow morning.

Minister Rattenbury will propose that terminology in national laws be updated to accurately reflect the nature of fossil fuel gas, currently known as ‘natural gas’.

“We are in the middle of a climate crisis. Currently, our national gas laws allow fossil fuel companies to market ‘natural gas’ as a sustainable alternative to other energy sources,” Minister Rattenbury said.

“In reality, so called ‘natural gas’ is a fossil fuel that is still extremely detrimental to our environment, inevitably hastening the devastating impacts of climate change.

“Primarily comprised of methane, a potent greenhouse gas and significant catalyst for climate change, the prevailing term 'natural gas' warrants a crucial revision in the National Gas Law.

“I am calling for the Federal Government to adopt the more accurate description of 'fossil fuel gas' to align with this undeniable reality.

“Research has shown that the way companies describe fuel sources significantly shapes public perception. Remarkably, the term 'natural gas' elicits a considerably more favourable response compared to designations like fossil fuel, oil, or coal.

“These linguistic nuances extend far beyond mere words, intricately influencing consumer behaviour and exerting profound implications on industry investment determinations.

“We need to address the misleading perception created by the term "natural gas" by changing the national gas regulatory system to reflect the more accurate description of ‘fossil fuel’

The Commonwealth Government is leading work to undertake a review and amend the National Gas Law (NGL and National Energy Retail Law, along with subordinate instruments. Their aim is to expand the regulatory frameworks to encompass hydrogen and renewable gases.

Consequently, substantial changes are being proposed in the form of the National Energy Laws Amendment (Other Gases) Bill 2023, commonly known as the Other Gases Bill. The ACT Government welcomes national efforts to progress this work.