Richard Di Natale has criticised Labor’s $1.5 billion plan to unlock gas reserves in northern Australia.

The Greens leader says Australia should not be opening any more coal, oil or gas fields.

“Australia's fastest-growing source of emissions is leaking methane from gas projects,” he said.

Senator Di Natale's says his claim is based on the Department of Environment and Energy's quarterly update of Australia's National Greenhouse Gas Inventory.

The department's September 2018 report (PDF) shows a 7.3 per cent increase in fugitive emissions - the technical term for leaking methane - for the 12 months to September 2018.

It was the largest rise across eight emissions sectors measured in the update.

A 2018 report by the Climate Council (PDF) found fugitive emissions in Australia rose by 49 per cent from 1990 to 2018.

Both reports state gas production is just one element of fugitive emissions, combined with oil and coal production and distribution.

Analysis suggests Australia's fastest-growing source of emissions is leaking methane, but it is not from gas projects alone.

The Climate Council report puts gas production equal with coal as the fastest sources of carbon emissions.