OPINION

Forget oil and gas - what about the next generation, APPEA?

This week, the most powerful oil and gas executives in the country were in Perth to celebrate their industry.

Held by the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA), the four-day event included a 60s-themed gala dinner, a cocktail party and "oilfield golf tournament".

Activities aside, the conference focussed on the gas industry of the future - with an emphasis on how to reduce emissions.

There was even a session called "Is the oil and gas industry part of a net-zero future?"

There was nothing to debate.

Gas and oil are polluting fossil fuels that are major contributors to global warming.

Gas is mainly methane, which is roughly 90 times better at warming the atmosphere than carbon dioxide over 20 years.

There's about 2.5 times more methane in the atmosphere than before the industrial revolution - from agriculture, your gas oven and especially from industry.

So, there is no way that carbon capture and storage, planting trees or anything else is going to be enough to fix this problem.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) recently found that any new gas or oil projects are incompatible with reaching net-zero.

The IEA is run by the world's richest governments.

Them saying we have to stop investing in fossil fuels is like McDonald's warning against eating hamburgers.

Basically, the party is over for oil and gas.

Unfortunately, APPEA didn't invite any young people to speak.

I guess that's because they would not like to hear what we have to say.

I was one of the teenagers who recently took Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley to court to oppose a coal mine expansion.

In that decision, Justice Mordy Bromberg determined that the minister does have a duty of care to our generation for what he described as "the devastating impacts of climate change".

Oil and gas executives, and the politicians who spoke at the conference, also have a duty of care.

For them to exclude us from their decision making shows they are not taking that responsibility seriously.

We have had record droughts, floods and fires.

I will experience longer lasting and more intense droughts, with even higher risks of deadly bushfires.

So, I'm writing to ask APPEA delegates to start to listen to the voices of those who will live with the consequences of expanding oil and gas extraction.

Stop claiming carbon capture and storage is ready to take enough carbon dioxide out of the air to get us to net-zero.

And stop pretending that gas is "clean", "green" and needed to make renewables work.

Bella Burgemeister is a 15-year-old author, environmental presenter and climate activist.

This story Forget oil and gas - what about the next generation, APPEA? first appeared on The Canberra Times.