More Greenhouse pollution - no cause for celebration Media Release

Feb 27, 2008 - 2:16am

The release of Government’s projections for Australia’s greenhouse pollution shows much more action is needed if Australia is to protect its national interest and help lead the fight against climate change.

"While the addition of some of the Government’s policy measures may see Australia on track for its Kyoto target, we should not be celebrating an increase in Australian greenhouse pollution,” said John Connor, CEO Climate Institute.

“Even with the renewable energy target, the projections are for massive increases in pollution from the energy sectors.

“Under these estimates, Australia will be emitting 20 per cent more carbon pollution by 2020.

“This highlights the importance of more, and early, policies for emissions trading, energy efficiency and clean energy - an invitation for all of us to work harder for a more sustainable future.

“As Professor Garnaut has reminded us, while Australia has much to lose from dangerous global warming, there are also significant opportunities from taking early action.

“Make no mistake - it is in Australia’s national interest to have a strong position when negotiating global outcomes on climate change.

“Strong domestic policies will mean clout in world negotiations.

“The reality is that we will need at least a 20 per cent reduction in Australia’s greenhouse pollution by 2020,” Mr Connor said.

The projected increases in pollution identified by the Government include:

  • Stationery energy (including electricity generation)     -     Up by 56%
  • Transport emissions (including car use)            -    Up by 42%
  • Fugitive emissions (from coal, oil and gas)            -    Up by 26%
  • Industrial processes’ emissions                -    Up by 49%
  • Agriculture emissions                    -    Up by 6 %       

These figures also record a substantial decrease in land use change emissions due to reduced land clearing. Emissions are projected to drop by 68% by 2008-12. Further, Australia is expected to achieve 21 Mt of carbon dioxide emissions through large scale establishment of new forest plantations since 1990.

“Clearly, policies designed to minimise Australia’s carbon footprint – emissions trading schemes, fuel and building efficiency standards and taxation reform – will have considerable effect,” Mr Connor said.

“That’s why we need these policies implemented early in the term of the Rudd Government – implemented as early as possible,” concluded Mr Connor.

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