Australia Off-track Report

Aug 03, 2007 - 5:16am

Based on new data released today:

Australia’s energy consumption emissions have increased by 22.5 million tonnes. This is the equivalent of adding more than five million cars to Australia’s roads, or nearly 50% of the national car fleet.

Greenhouse pollution increases in 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 are above Australian Government projections over the same period indicating current government policies are not having the desired impact.

Even with Government projected trends, total emissions in 2010 will be more than 110% of 1990 emissions and it is looking increasing unlikely that Australia will meet its goal of meeting its Kyoto target of 108% of 1990 emissions.

 

Energy sector emissions – the main greenhouse pollution source

The burning of coal, oil and gas are the main contributors to increased greenhouse pollution levels and climate change. According to the last Australian Government National Greenhouse Gas Inventory energy consumption accounted for more than 60% of Australia’s greenhouse pollution in 2004.

The energy sector is also the fastest growing source of greenhouse pollution in Australia and emissions have increased by 34% since 1990. Excluding the emission reductions arising from land clearing reductions and forestry, pollution from the energy combustion sector has accounted for 93% of the total increase in emissions since 1990.

Heading for a train wreck – emissions SPIRALLING

The next National Greenhouse Gas Inventory is expected to be released soon. However, this will only cover emissions to 2005. Analysis for the Climate Institute by one of Australia’s leading energy experts shows that between 2004 and first few months of this year that Australia’s energy sector emissions have increased by 22.5 million tonnes. (Figure 1.) This is the equivalent of adding more than five million cars to Australia’s roads, or nearly 50% of the national car fleet.

Figure 1: Increase in Australia's annual energy combustion emissions since 2003-04


Emissions rising faster thAn projected

Worryingly, the pollution increases in 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 are also above what the Government projected them to be over the same period. (Figure 2.) This indicates that current Government policies to rein in greenhouse pollution are being swamped by other factors and are not having the impact needed to start to get our emissions under control.


Figure 2: Actual emissions vs government projections (note 2006-2007 only include emissions to Feb 2007)
 

Figure2


Growth in energy consumption emissions was much faster during calendar year 2006 than was anticipated by the Government’s projections.  Based on current Government projections, and if no significant government policies are introduced, total emissions in 2010 will be more than 110% of 1990 emissions.  It is looking increasing unlikely that Australia will meet its goal of meeting its Kyoto target of 108% of 1990 emissions.
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