AUDIT shows record energy emissions and no plan

by Hugh Saddler

The Australia Institute’s Climate & Energy Program has released the National Energy Emissions Audit for December 2017 which shows that Australia’s energy emissions hit another record peak in the year to July 2017, before slight reductions to September. The Audit, compiled by renowned energy specialist Dr Hugh Saddler, provides a comprehensive, up-to-date indication of key greenhouse gas and energy trends in Australia.

This growth in petroleum emissions is greater than emissions reductions in the electricity sector from increased renewable generation and the closure of Hazelwood power station.

“There is a major gap between reality and Australia’s climate policy,” said Saddler.

“The reality is that emissions are increasing rapidly in transport and sectors that use bulk diesel, while our policy is that all sectors should be decreasing emissions by 26-28% in line with our Paris Targets,” Saddler said.

“Growth in emissions from road transport fuels is growing at twice the rate of GDP. We have no policy to reign in emissions in these sectors and, and meanwhile our electricity sector is not set to make up for that.

The electricity sector is decreasing its emissions, now down 11.1% on 2005 levels. But under the National Energy Guarantee (NEG), electricity emissions are only expected to reduce to its 26% share of emissions reduction. 

“To meet our Paris climate commitments, Australia urgently needs a combination of policies to reduce petroleum emissions as well as an acknowledgement that the electricity sector needs to do more than just its 26% share of abatement,” Rod Campbell from The Australia Institute’s Climate & Energy Program said.

“The 2017 review was released late in the afternoon just before the Christmas break, in what looked a lot like ‘taking out the trash’.

“The government can’t hide from reality. Emissions are rising in several sectors, and there is no plan to rein them in, or for the electricity sector to compensate,” Campbell said.

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