Australia’s emissions are rising, not falling

Media release 24 October 2017 

The Australia Institute released a new briefing note showing that Australia’s emissions are rising rapidly, in contrast to the United States, China and the rest of the world.

“The government has completely failed to put in place a suit of policies that will reduce our emissions,” said senior economist at The Australia Institute’s Climate & Energy Program, Matt Grudnoff.

“Australians might be surprised to know that our emissions are rising not falling. While we have committed to reducing our emissions, since we abolished the carbon price Australia’s emissions have only increased. If this trend continues there is no way Australia will meet its Paris target. [See Figure 1 over page]

“The rest of the world is taking action on climate change. The US and European Union’s emissions are falling. China’s emissions are flat, as are world emissions. Australia is becoming increasingly isolated as a nation failing to reduce its emissions.

“The government’s announcement of a new National Energy Guarantee is likely to cause our emissions to rise even faster. The government is implementing a policy that will encourage more fossil fuel generation,” said Grudnoff.

Previous modelling analysis by the Australia Institute shows the most economically efficient path to meeting Australia’s international commitment would see the electricity sector reducing emissions by between 40%-55% below 2005 levels by 2030. 

The 26% -28% target for the electricity sector will mean other sectors of the economy, like agriculture, would have to reduce emissions by more than had been anticipated.

Figure 1: Growth in emissions from energy use

A graph showing Australia's emissions rising rapidly compared to the USA China and the rest of the world

Source: Trends in global CO2 emissions: 2016 Report




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