Originally published in The Guardian on August 31, 2023

The latest quarterly greenhouse gas emissions survey shows that Australia is heading in the wrong direction – and that needs calling out.

The latest Quarterly Greenhouse Gas Emissions data came and went last Friday with little coverage. As Policy Director, Greg Jericho writes in his Guardian Australia column this meant that much of the terrible news was missed.

In the past year, Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions have increased with the rise in transport emissions undoing any of the good that comes from falling emissions out of the electricity sector. At a time when we should be on a clear path to reducing emissions by at least 43% below the 2005 level by 2030, we are heading in the opposite direction.

The figures also highlight the weakness of our 2030 target. The only reason we are even halfway to achieving that cut is because Australia includes land use in its calculations. Without including the faux cuts in emissions that come from using 2005 and the massive land-clearing that occurred that year as a baseline, Australia’s emissions would be just 1.6% below 2005 levels.

Next week the June quarter GDP figures will be released.  We know exactly when they will be released and they will receive massive coverage, including a press conference by the Treasurer soon after 11:30am on Wednesday. By contrast, the quarterly greenhouse gas emissions data is released at random times with now warning and without any minister fronting media to discuss, explain and defend the government’s policies.

We need to treat the greenhouse gas emissions release with the same level of attention we give to GDP, and we need to demand what the government is doing to ensure in 3 months time with the next release the figures will show a fall, rather than a rise.

Between the Lines Newsletter

The biggest stories and the best analysis from the team at the Australia Institute, delivered to your inbox every fortnight.

Sign up

General Enquiries

02 6130 0530

Media Enquiries

Luciana Lawe Davies Media Adviser

0457 974 636

RSS Feed

All news