Australian carbon emissions keep growing

Via the ABC:

Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions have reached record highs in many sectors, continuing an upward trend that began in 2013, according to official Government figures released on Thursday.

The Federal Government’s Quarterly Update of the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory for the three months to December 2018 shows emissions increased by 0.8 per cent seasonally adjusted, compared to the previous quarter.

That increase was, in part, driven by emissions from LNG for export, diesel consumption across transport, and metal manufacturing.

“While emissions increases from the rapid growth of LNG exports are included in Australia’s emissions in the report, the success of this industry means that it has potentially reduced global emissions by up to 27 per cent of Australia’s annual emissions in the year to December 2018,” Energy Minister Angus Taylor said in a statement.

“The Morrison Government is not going to trash successful Australian export industries that are reducing global emissions, in order to reduce Australian emissions.”

Bill Hare, director of climate analytics — an international science and policy institute — said the export argument did not stack up.

“Those are dubious claims because the arguments are exaggerated and do not take full consideration of fugitive emissions,” he said.

“There is very little action being taken at the moment in Australia to limit future emissions … we’re way behind the world’s best practice there.

“We are headed in the wrong direction, and I don’t know any expert in this field who would say otherwise.”

Per-capita vs overall emissions

The results renew questions about the effectiveness of the Government’s existing policies to cut local emissions and meet Australia’s international reduction commitments made under the Paris Agreement.

The Prime Minister has previously said Australia would meet its Paris Agreement obligations “in a canter”.

Last month, the Government reported its 2017 emissions figures to the UN, and in that report it contained a preliminary estimate of the total greenhouse gas emissions for 2018.

The Government has emphasised, on a per-capita basis, Australia’s emissions have been dropping, but with Australia’s population growing, actual emissions are still rising.

Excluding emissions estimated from land clearing, which are widely contested, Australia’s emissions are now at an all-time high, according to new figures released on Thursday.

Australia has committed to help keep global warming at well below 2 degrees Celsius and to strive to stop global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius.

As part of that promise, agreed to in Paris in 2015, the Government said it would reduce Australia’s emissions by at least 26 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

“Our national target is achievable, balanced and responsible. We will meet our international commitments while keeping power prices down, keeping the lights on, and keeping our economy strong,” Mr Taylor said.

Government missed data deadline

In the past, the Government has delayed the release of quarterly emissions updates, and often released multiple updates at once, including over the Christmas period.

A Senate order, passed by Labor and the Greens in October last year, means the Government must release the update within five months of the end of the quarter — the data period.

However, the Government still missed its latest deadline, which passed last Friday.

Mr Hare said renewables growth was strong, but that sector’s future was uncertain.

“With the Government talking about coal, it raises questions about subsidies,” he said.

“The good thing is that we can turn things around in Australia pretty quickly.

“If there were the right provisions in place to reduce vehicle emissions and encourage the update of electric vehicles, that could have a significant impact on emissions.”

David Llewellyn-Smith


  1. Over the last 20 years or so, the global emission has kept rising but the global temperature has not – even James Hansen admitted that. There is either an unexplained lag or nature is adjusting by a negative feedback, as expected of a gigantic, super-stable ecosystem.

    Still, embracing nuclear power is a sensible policy.

      • Also we are currently losing species at a rate greater then when the dinosaurs went extinct.
        Humans are one species on earth and rely on nature for so many different things including clean water and air so whilst not many people will say it it is a real possibility.

      • Explain why NASA uses compromised surface data and refuses to use satellite data that provides better spatial coverage without contamination of urban heat island.

    • Or alternatively the climatic cycle is externally controlled by the solar cycle. Harvard ‘scientists’ have set up the tropospheric spraying of material to deflect suns rays, despite solar input on earth is reduced a lot. Years since home grown Melbourne tomatoes have been good.

    • Not acknologed is the impact of turbo immigration and that impact on emissions. Also if you look at all the high rise apartments that is seriously energy hungry. A mate is a building maint guy and says it’s really another elephant in the room, and the other issue is the completely farcical new build regs. All they have to do is follow the EU or US and it’s be way better. Ask any builder and you get it’s built to a price point and faked star system.

    • HadronCollision

      I vote for the emissions/warmth being hidden somewhere to be unleashed in a nasty fashion
      Think….ocean acidity, temps, etc

      • The entire theory relies on massive positive feedback in the upper troposphere (that been proven to be false) heat that is hiding cannot contribute to the atmospheric feedback and actually weakens the theory.

    • Why is nuclear a sensible policy?

      If you look at energy efficiency and waste by removing that we could probably negate the need for the 600 plus existing nuclear power stations now and perhaps more.

      Business wants unlimited consumption and no compassion while our environment needs less consumption and more compassion and here is the root cause of many problems.

      • Cheap power relieves poverty. We need an alternative to fossil fuels (which are both dangerous to extract, have value beyond fuel, and lack equitable distribution). Hydrogen fuel cells are best power sources. Just need to figure out a cheap method of generating and transportation of hydrogen.

  2. Maybe we could keep some of our exported LNG that’s reducing greenhouse gas elsewhere and use it here to achieve the obligations we’ve signed up to, while at the same time reducing our own electricity costs and simultaneously providing a sensible transition pathway to renewables?

  3. “The Government has emphasised, on a per-capita basis, Australia’s emissions have been dropping, but with Australia’s population growing, actual emissions are still rising.” So cutting mass immigration is the obvious solution, but we are not allowed to discuss that.

  4. Require foreigners to donate a Nissan Leaf to the ATO when they apply for citizenship.

    If he gets rejected, he can get a refund after he self-deports himself and shows up at an Aussie embassy.