Are Australia’s Coal Companies Underreporting Their Methane Emissions?

Australia was one step closer to passing its first ever bill on climate change this August, with an emissions reduction target of 43 per cent by 2030 front and centre. 

But, while politicians and experts discuss how we’ll meet this target, a controversial Australian coal mine, Glencore’s Hail Creek Mine in Queensland, continues to pump huge amounts of methane into the atmosphere.  

The concern is though: just how much is it emitting and is the mine underreporting the amount of methane it creates?

“There’s an allegation that Hail Creek in particular is emitting 35 times more methane than its telling the government,” Cos Magazine journalist Jacinta Bowler revealed on The Science Briefing.

:We now have some indication as to how much the mine is underreporting. They found that in 2018-2018… the mine had released 230,000 tonnes of methane.

“That takes us to the figure I mentioned earlier, that if these numbers are right, the Hail Creek mine is releasing 35 times more methane than their bottom up reporting suggests.”

Dr Sophie Calabretto talks to Bowler about just how potent methane is as a greenhouse gas and the concerns major coal companies could be underreporting their emissions and holding us back from reaching the emissions reduction target.

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