Gas & coal extraction dominates Australia’s rising emissions

New research has revealed that despite Minister Angus Taylor’s claims that Australia’s total emissions are going down, Australia’s total emissions in the past year are likely to have increased, with Australia’s gas and coal industries the significant drivers of those rising emissions.

The Australia Institute Climate & Energy Program has released the latest National Energy Emissions Audit for the electricity sector, analysing the electricity sector over the previous month. The National Energy Emissions Audit is authored by renowned energy expert, Dr Hugh Saddler.

Key findings:

  • Australia’s emissions are rising, not falling, as shown in the National Energy Emissions Audit analysis of Australia’s National Inventory Report to the UN
  • Fugitive emissions from mining have increased by 55% and mining energy emissions have increased by 30% over the last 15 years (since 2005)
  • Queensland’s gas and coal mining emissions alone already accounted for 7% of Australia’s total in 2016, this share is likely currently even higher
  • Transport emissions have increased 23% since 2011, driven largely by diesel which has jumped by a staggering 50%
  • The electricity sector continues to reduce its emissions, which are down 17% since their peak in 2009.  

“The new Minister for Emissions Reductions Angus Taylor has begun his term by delivering two key reports that confirm Australia’s rising emissions,” says Dr Hugh Saddler.

“What the latest National Energy Emissions Audit confirms is that Australia’s emissions are rising, not falling. These findings fly completely in the face of Minister Taylor’s claims to the contrary.

“Emissions directly from the gas and coal industries in Australia made up about 15% of all national emissions in 2017; given fossil fuel extraction has subsequently increased, it is hard to see how they wouldn’t be even higher now.

“The complete absence of a Government plan to curb transport emissions is very troubling — emissions which have run rampant thanks to a 50% increase in diesel fuel use since 2011.

“Other industries like agriculture and waste have achieved decreases to their emissions but most significantly the electricity sector has decreased its emissions by 17% between 2009 and 2017 – it is time our fossil fuel industries followed suit.”

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