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Methane Zero Australia | Government Regulation Needed

What can the Federal Government do?

Healthy Futures is passionate about advocating for a healthier, more sustainable future. We are launching a new campaign on methane emissions from Australian coal and gas mines. Reducing these emissions would lead to direct and relatively rapid results in mitigating climate change and air pollution impacts.

We are lobbying the Australian Government for stronger regulations on fossil methane reduction.
Rapidly reducing fossil methane emissions is technologically and economically achievable and urgently needed to slow global warming. Methane's potency, compared to CO2 traps 80 times more heat in the atmosphere for the first 20 years, significantly driving short-term climate change.

The public health impacts of climate change are multifaceted and complex. These include, but are not limited to:

  • the immediate effects from extreme weather events, like heatstroke and weather disaster injuries
  • the spread of vector-borne diseases
  • the consequences of mass migration and 
  • respiratory and cardiovascular impacts from air pollution.

Any reduction in global warming, especially efforts to stay close to 1.5 degrees warming, is crucial to prevent catastrophic public health consequences.

Methane abatement offers a second significant health benefit, reducing the development of ground-level ozone, a toxic air pollutant. Reducing fossil methane would ease air pollution and consequently help avoid premature deaths and respiratory illnesses exacerbation from ozone exposure, as well as ensure better food security as ground ozone also exacerbates agricultural pressures.

The International Energy Agency's report on health and methane estimates that by reducing anthropogenic methane, nearly 1 million lives could be saved by 2050, and globally, nearly 3 million asthma emergency presentations could be avoided. The report also states that recommended methane reduction targets would avert crop losses roughly equal to 60% of Africa's 2021 wheat, rice, soy, and maise production.

Our campaign's political strategy

Is part of a concerted effort by scientific and environmental groups lobbying the Albanese government for fossil methane regulations. The legislative landscape needs to catch up to international best practices, presenting a real opportunity to influence Minister Bowen and the government to meet the international best practice recommendations to implement a methane plan targeting a 75% reduction in fossil fuel emissions by 2030.

Our political strategy also addresses a significant moment in 2024 as the Albanese Government is readying its position to improve methane monitoring and reporting. 

A national policy framework and specific targets mandating methane emission reporting and verification standards is needed. Currently, neither fossil fuel companies nor the federal government are likely to accurately measure or report methane emissions from fossil fuels. Estimates fossil fuel companies offer often lack independent gathering, assessment, or publicly available monitoring methodologies. Healthy Futures is advocating for transparent methane reduction measures.

By taking collective action now, demanding urgent methane reporting standards and abatement technology, we can protect public health and mitigate the worst impacts of climate change. We demand that the Australian Federal Government legislate urgent measures to protect health from pollution and climate change. 

The Australian Federal Government needs to develop a national plan by 2025 to accurately monitor and reduce fossil fuel methane, which includes:

  • A fossil fuel methane emissions reduction pathway aligned with limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels, including a 75% reduction in fossil fuel methane emissions by 2030 as outlined by the International Energy Agency's Net Zero Roadmap. 
  • Mechanisms for methane emissions measurement, reporting, verification and mitigation in keeping with international best practice.
  • Mandate methane leak detection and repair programs.

For this strategy we will be connecting with peak health bodies, organisations and groups to engage with the Federal Government. If you have any questions about this campaign, please contact our Campaigner Bronwyn at: [email protected]



  1. International Energy Agency  (2023), Net Zero Roadmap: A Global Pathway to Keep the 1.5 °C Goal in Reach, IEA, Paris
  2.  US State Department (2022) Joint Declaration from Energy Importers and Exporters on Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Fossil Fuels 

  3.  International Energy Agency (2023) Methane Abatement

  4. QUBE (2023) Understanding LDAR Requirements for Oil and Gas Operators