Latest Emissions report cynically timed for AFL & NRL Footy Grand Finals

September 29, 2018 at 11:05 am Leave a comment

Greenhouse Gas Emissions to March 2018 (excluding LULUCF) – Source: Greg Jericho

On the eve of Grand Final weekend for both the AFL and NRL football codes, the Federal Department of Environment released the latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory emissions statistics showing a 1.3 per cent annual rise in Australia’s total emissions.(1)

“This is a cynical attempt to deflect attention from the continued increase in Australia’s emissions” said Climate Action Moreland convenor John Englart.

“Congratulations to Melissa Price, the new Federal Environment Minister, and her department for a very cynical timing of the release of this information on the Friday afternoon before the Grand Finals” said Englart. “Just as ordinary Australians are preparing to enjoying some epic football, our Federal government decided to release the greenhouse report card which shows the Federal government has utterly failed with climate policy.”

Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions for the March 2018 quarter continued to show an increase overall. According to the latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory report to March 2018, “Emissions for the year to March 2018 are estimated to be 536.7 Mt CO 2 -e. This represents a 1.3 per cent (6.8 Mt CO 2 -e) increase in emissions when compared with the previous year.”

While the Electricity sector showed a modest decline, most sectors showed an increase in emissions.

Fugitive emissions in particular showed a substantial increase of 13.7 percent, with this being attributed to the growth in the export of LNG. Transport emissions continued to rise with a 2.1 percent increase to March 2018. Stationary energy increased by 4.6 percent year on year to March 2018.

The Australian Conservation Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Kelly O’Shanassy has also condemned the latest statistics.(2)

“It’s frankly embarrassing that climate pollution continues to rise in a wealthy country like Australia. We have the community support, technology and knowledge to get on top of our pollution problem, but not the political will.”

“Our climate pollution has grown ever since the Federal Coalition Government abandoned Australia’s successful national carbon price.”

“Ultimately there is no sensible national plan in place to cut Australian climate pollution across energy, transport, agriculture and industry. Political platitudes in lieu of policy will not work. A good government would face up to our pollution problem and the climate damage already being felt by our communities, and take urgent and strong action in response.”

Climate Scientist Bill Hare, a director of Climate Analytics, told the Guardian, that Australia was still not on track to meet its Paris commitment to reduce emissions by between 26% and 28% by 2030 from its 2005 levels.

“While emissions from the national electricity market continue to decrease due to increasing renewable electricity, Australian emissions as a whole continue to increase,” he said. “On present trends, with virtually no policies apart from the renewable energy target, which will expire in 2020 and not be replaced, emissions are set to gallop way past the Paris agreement target.”

The report emphasises in the preface that Australia’s Emissions per capita and per dollar of real GDP are falling, although the trend graph shows that this decrease in both these measures appears to be levelling. Bill Hare commented that this trend should not be flattening, but accelerating.

Australia’s targets and commitments to the global community are measured on total emissions reduction, which increased by 1.3 per cent in the year to March 2018.

“Ministers always try to spin that our emissions per capita trend is improving, when the important statistic is the level of total emissions reductions. That is what we are committed to under the Kyoto Protocol and Doha amendment.” said Englart. (3)

“Melissa Price, like Josh Frydenburg before her, has chosen to purposefully highlight emissions per capita and the emissions intensity of the economy statistics in an attempt to spin failed policies in achieving total emissions reduction.”

“Even before this latest Greenhouse gas inventory, Australia was rated as insufficient by the Carbon Action Tracker, and unlikely to meet its climate targets with current policies,” concluded Englart. (4)

Notes:

  1. The report can be downloaded from the Department of Environment and Energy:
    http://www.environment.gov.au/climate-change/climate-science-data/greenhouse-gas-measurement/publications/quarterly-update-australias-national-greenhouse-gas-inventory-march-2018
  2. Media Release by Australian Conservation Foundation on latest greenhouse gas statistics
    https://www.acf.org.au/latest_data_shows_australia_s_climate_pollution_is_still_rising_and_there_is_no_national_plan_to_turn_it_around
  3. Media Release by Melissa Price, Australian Environment Minister
    http://www.environment.gov.au/minister/price/media-releases/mr20180928.html
  4. Climate Action Tracker Australia Assessment
    https://climateactiontracker.org/countries/australia/

Australia: Unadjusted’ emissions by sector, years to March 2017 and 2018

Australian transport emissions to March 2018

Australian fugitive emissions to March 2018

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