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Tracking 2019 Q1 Report | or July, August, September 2018

  • Australia’s annual emissions for the year to September 2018 are the highest on record, when excluding unreliable emissions estimations from the land use sector.
  • If Australia continues its current emissions trajectory, it will cumulatively emit almost 1,100 Mt CO2-e more than the Paris emission reduction trajectory.
  • Labor has proposed a 45% emission reduction target on 2005 levels in line with the recommendations of the independent Climate Change Authority. This would require a 197.1 Mt CO2-e reduction on FY2018 annual emissions levels by FY2030, this is equivalent to removing almost 75 million cars off the road for a year. In comparison, the coalition’s emission reduction target only requires an 80.8 Mt CO2-e reduction on FY2018 annual emissions levels by FY2030.
  • Although electricity sector emissions are stable, emissions from stationary energy, fugitives and transport continue to trend sharply upwards. Australia’s fugitive emissions and stationary energy emissions for Q1/FY2019 are the highest on record.

Australia’s Quarterly Emissions Projections to a 2 Degree Target

Detailed Findings

  • When excluding unreliable land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) emission estimations, Australia’s annual emissions for the year to September 2018 were the highest on record at 558.3 Mt CO2-e. The second highest annual emissions were for the year to September 2017 with 550.6 Mt CO2-e followed by the year to September 2016 with 548.5 Mt CO2-e.
    Total annual emissions, excluding land use, have been increasing at an average rate of 1.3% since the year to September 2014.
  • If Australia continues to increase total emissions at its current rate, then by 2030 Australia will emit approximately 154 Mt CO2-e per quarter or 616 Mt CO2-e per annum. At this level of emissions, Australia will miss the 2030 Paris Target by 175 Mt CO2-e absolute. This results in an increase on 2005 level emissions when the Paris target calls for a 28% reduction on 2005 levels.
    On a cumulative basis, Australia is on track to emit 1,134 Mt CO2-e more than the trajectory to meet the Paris emission reduction target by the year 2030, this is equal to 2.1 years of Australia’s total national emissions or the emissions of 430 million average passenger vehicles driving on Australian roads for a year.

    A UNEP Report released in November 2018 entitled ‘Emissions Gap Report 2018’ has also stated that Australia is not on track to meet its Paris targets:
    In its NDC, Australia announced a 26–28 percent reduction below 2005 levels of GHG emissions by 2030 (UNFCCC, 2016). There has been no improvement in Australia’s climate policy since 2017 and emission levels for 2030 are projected to be well above the NDC target. The latest projection published by the government shows that emissions would remain at high levels rather than reducing in line with the 2030 target (Department of the Environment and Energy, 2017a; CAT, 2018c). The Emissions Reduction Fund, which aims to purchase emissions reductions at the lowest available cost through auctions, and its safeguard mechanism are the main existing policies.” (UNEP, 2018 p.12)[1]

  • Australia’s Fugitive and stationary emissions continue to rise sharply due to an increase in extraction activities such as the production of Liquefied natural gas (LNG) for the international export market. The Australian Petroleum Statistics report for September 2018 shows that LNG exports for Q1/FY2019 have increased 19% on the previous quarter (Q4/FY2018) and 26% on the same quarter the year prior (Q1/FY2018). The most recent update of Australia’s quarterly emissions report forecasts LNG production to continue to increase, which will likely result in further increases in Australia’s fugitive and stationary energy emissions.
    Another contributor to Australia’s fugitive emissions is the production of unconventional gasses such as coal seam gas. The Australian Petroleum Statistics report for September 2018 shows that coal seam gas production has been increasing significantly between FY2012 and FY2018.
  • Emissions from the transport sector continue to trend upwards and are being driven by sharp increases in the usage of aviation turbine fuel and diesel oil used predominately in the heavy trucking and logistics industry. Emissions from other sectors including industrial processes, agriculture, waste and LULUCF remain relatively stable.
  • Emissions from the electricity sector have remained relatively stable for the last 1.5 years. For Q1/FY2019, electricity sector emissions declined by 2.4% on the previous quarter (Q4/FY2018) and 1.5% on the same quarter the year prior (Q1/FY2018). For Q1/FY2019:
    • NSW generated 14.9 TWh with 8.6% coming from renewable sources such as wind and hydropower, this is down from 8.9% renewable generation in the previous quarter.
    • QLD generated 13.2 TWh with 1.4% coming from renewable sources such as hydro energy, this is down from 1.8% renewable generation in the previous quarter.
    • VIC generated 10.4 TWh with 15.5% coming from renewable sources such as wind and hydro energy, this is up from 14.1% in the previous quarter
    • TAS generated 3.6 TWh with 99% coming from renewable sources such as wind and hydro energy, this is down from almost 100% in the previous quarter.
    • SA generated 2.8 TWh with 43% coming from renewable sources such as wind energy, this is up from 38% in the previous quarter.

    1 UNEP, 2018. Emissions Gap Report 2018

Labor’s Proposed Emission Reduction Targets

[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]The Labor Government has proposed to increase the ambition of Australia’s emission reduction targets from 26 – 28% below 2005 level emissions to 45% below 2005 level emissions.[2] This would effectively increase the emission reduction effort across the economy as follows:[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_single_image image=”30878″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow_3d”][vc_column_text]2 The Guardian, 2018. Neg: Labor warns it will not back taxpayer support for new coal-fired power, Available online: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/aug/17/neg-labor-warns-it-will-not-back-taxpayer-support-for-new-coal-fired-power [Last accessed: 11 December 2018]

Pathway to Labor’s 45% Reduction Target*

Australia’s Annual Emissions, Year to September*

* This graph includes both published Government NGGI data and Ndevr Environmental projections for Q1/FY2019.

Australia’s Quarterly Emissions by Sector*

This report has been compiled by Ndevr Environmental, using the latest information available from: AEMO, Office of the Chief Economist, Australian Petroleum Statistics and the Department of the Environment and Energy’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory (NGGI) reports. Detailed electricity generation data for the National Energy Market (NEM) are sourced from Global-Roam’s NEM-Review™ tool.

GDP trends are sourced from Trading Economics, information about Australian car use is sourced from the National Transport Commission, 2016 and the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Emission factors are sourced from National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (Measurement) Determination 2008.

Government and CCA target information is available at the following sources:

[1] – Australian Government (2015), Australia’s 2030 Climate change target, Commonwealth of Australia

[2] – CCA (2013), Historical emissions from the Treasury and DIICCSRTE

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2 Degree Budget Expenditure to Date

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