Diesel fuelled emissions: National Energy Emissions Audit

The quarterly edition of the National Energy Emissions Audit, released today by The Australia Institute’s Climate & Energy Program, shows Australian transport emissions are ramping up thanks to a significant increase in diesel usage.

Key Findings:

  • Transport sector emissions are rising due to a significant increase in diesel usage and this almost cancels out all the emissions reductions in electricity generation
  • Energy emissions are now likely to start increasing, as diesel consumption continues to grow
  • Australia is at risk of blowing its greenhouse gas emissions budget if the Federal Government’s National Energy Guarantee limits electricity emissions reductions to only 26-28 per cent
  • Annual emissions from Australia’s energy sector reduced in the first quarter of 2018 thanks to the closure of the highly polluting Hazelwood power station

“We’re seeing little if any further reduction in electricity generation emissions, this combined with continuing growth in diesel consumption, are likely to cause energy emissions to increase – not reduce.” said Dr Hugh Saddler, energy expert and author of the Audit.

“Improving electricity efficiency and replacing coal with renewables is the cheapest way to cut national emissions, yet the National Energy Guarantee’s 26 per cent target seeks to reverse this.

“Fossil fuel use for electricity and transport accounts for nearly three quarters of Australia’s emissions.

“Australia is an outliner globally, with no mandatory emissions or fuel economy standards for vehicles, leaving transport emissions to climb.

“While diesel cars help drivers save money based on fuel efficiency, using diesel emits around 17 per cent more than petrol by volume and now accounts for half of all petroleum emissions.

“Unless the Australian Government takes action on emissions standards, we will continue to drive up emission in the transport sector with one of the least efficient, highest emission motor vehicle fleets in the world.”

The report also showed Australia’s annual energy emissions decreased in the first quarter of 2018, thanks to the closure of the highly polluting Hazelwood power station.

“Decreased energy emissions over this three-month period were entirely caused by lower electricity generation emissions, resulting from the closure of Hazelwood power station.” said Dr Saddler

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