Australia nears target as Kyoto begins Media Release

Jul 04, 2007 - 7:24am

Australia's Kyoto Protocol commitment period began on the 1st July 2007 with the 2008 financial year. Although Australia didn't ratify the Protocol it did agree to limit greenhouse emissions growth to 108% on 1990 levels during the 2008-2012 commitment period. However, Climate Institute analysis shows that Australia is highly likely to have already reached 108% as the the commitment period commences.

New data released by The Climate Institute shows that Australia is highly likely to have passed its Kyoto target, as Australia’s Kyoto Protocol commitment period started on Sunday with the 2007-08 financial year.

“With Australia’s Kyoto target reporting starting earlier this week, it seems virtually certain that Australia’s greenhouse emissions will today be over our Kyoto target and still climbing.” Said Chief Executive of the Climate Institute, John Connor.

“Both major parties will have to announce stronger and earlier policies to turn around Australia’s pollution to meet the Kyoto target in five years time.”

The Climate Institute releases a monthly “Greenhouse Pollution Tracker” which compares rolling annual figures. This months comparisons are year to end April 2007 compared with year to end April 2006.

This month’s Greenhouse Pollution Tracker shows:

  • Total emissions from all sources at the end of April 2007 are estimated to have stood at 107.9% of the 1990 level, just 0.1% below Australia’s Kyoto target (108% over 1989/90 levels).
  • A reduction in electricity generation from coal because of shortages of cooling water for several major coal fired power stations, in particular Tarong in Queensland and Bayswater in NSW.
  • The shortfall in generation was made up with gas powered electricity, so while more electricity was produced, emissions levels from electricity were almost stable. (Gas fired electricity produces less emissions than coal fired generation.)
  • Emissions from petroleum products increased at about average 0.33% for the month, (4.3% for year) as consumption of petrol, diesel and LPG grew.
  • The growth in emissions from April 2006 to April 2007 is equivalent to adding 3.5 million more cars to the road, or about one-third of the national car fleet.
  • Given the April 07 results, Australia would reach its Kyoto target with emissions growth equivalent to running another Hazelwood power station and mine for less than two months.

“As part of policies to turn around our rising pollution, this report highlights we need to ensure all new electricity load generation comes from clean energy. Moves in some states to add coal fired power stations without carbon capture and storage rather than renewable and/or energy efficiency alternatives will make the challenge to reduce our pollution much harder.”

"In the face of increasing droughts, floods and fires, the days of carelessly building dirty power stations are over.”

“Australia can and must make the switch to a clean energy economy and the most cost effective mix of policies to get us there will include Kyoto ratification, effective emissions trading, energy efficiency and market based clean energy targets. In particular, Federal and State Governments need to urgently work together to ensure that all new electricity load comes from clean sources such as solar, wind and sustainable biomass.” Said Mr Connor.

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