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Tracking 2019 Q2 Report | or October, November, December 2018

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Under the Paris Agreement, the Australian Government has legally committed to reducing our emissions by 26-28% by 2030. However, to ensure global warming remains under 2 degrees, independent body the Climate Change Authority (CCA) has proposed Australia set a national Science Based Target (SBT). This is a target calculated from Australia’s share of emissions for a 2C global outcome. Ndevr Environmental has used this target to model a quarterly emissions budget for Australia.

This report tracks Australia’s performance against our Paris target and the CCA’s carbon budget based on the latest available data, trends and industry movements for the months of October, November and December (Q2/FY2019). Our results are presented in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (tCO2-e). 1 t CO2-e is roughly equal to the emissions of a standard 5-seat passenger vehicle driving around 5,400 km.


Headline Results


  • Emissions for the 2018 calendar year are the highest on record, when excluding unreliable emission estimations from the land use sector. This marks the third successive year of record increases.
  • Annual emissions for electricity have been decreasing for three consecutive years due to increased renewables. Unfortunately, however, increases in emissions from stationary energy, transport and fugitives have almost doubled any savings achieved from the electricity sector.
  • For Q2/FY2019, emissions from stationary energy, transport and fugitive emissions are the highest on record.
  • Emissions for Q2/FY2019 have decreased 1.4 Mt CO2-e on the previous quarter but increased 0.9 Mt CO2-e on the same quarter the year prior (Q2/FY2018).
  • Emissions for Q2/FY2019 exceeds the Paris Target budget by 4.7 Mt CO2-e and exceed Science Based Target budget by 11.1 Mt CO2-e.


Australia’s Quarterly Emissions Projections to a 2 Degree Target

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Detailed Findings


  • When excluding unreliable land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) emission estimations, Australia’s annual emissions for the calendar year to December 2018 were the highest on record at 558.4 Mt CO2-e. This beats the previous high in the year to December 2017 with 553.6 Mt CO2-e and year to December 2016 with 550.2 Mt CO2-e.
  • Annual emissions from the electricity sector have been declining for three consecutive years. The increase in emissions from other energy sectors over the same period, including stationary energy (excluding electricity), transport and fugitive emissions has entirely offset the declining electricity emissions and is the largest contributor to Australia’s rising emissions for the last three years.
    The following chart demonstrates the annual reduction in emissions from the electricity sector and the offset of this effort caused by the annual increase in emissions from other energy sectors:

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  • For Q2/FY2019, emissions for stationary energy, transport and fugitive emissions are the highest on record.
    • The increases in stationary energy and fugitive emissions is mostly attributed to a rapid increase in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) production for the international export market. The latest release of the Resources and Energy Quarterly report shows that LNG exports have increased 19.7% in 2018 (year to September 2018). LNG production has increased every year for the last 6 years and this has resulted in increasing emissions from stationary energy (fossil fuels combusted in stationary equipment) and fugitive emissions (emissions of fossil fuel gasses flared and that leak from pipes, valves and other equipment).
    • The increases in transport emissions is mostly attributed to combustion of diesel fuel in transport vehicles. Annual transport emissions resulting from the combustion of diesel have been increasing consistently since FY2013.
  • Emissions for Q2/FY2019 are 134.1 Mt CO2-e. This is a decrease of 1.4 Mt CO2-e on the previous quarter’s result but an increase of 0.9 Mt CO2-e on the same quarter the year prior (Q2/FY2018). This quarter’s result exceeds the Paris ERT trajectory by 4.7 Mt CO2-e and exceeds the more ambitious Science Based Targets (SBTs) by 11.1 Mt CO2-e.
    If Australia continues emitting at this level, then by 2030 Australia will have cumulatively emitted more than 1,080 Mt CO2-e. On an absolute basis, if Australia continues emitting at this level, our 2030 emissions will be 1% below 2005 levels when the Paris Target requires a 26 – 28% reduction on 2005 levels.
  • Quarterly emissions from the electricity sector have been falling for the last 4 quarters. Electricity emissions for Q2/FY2019 are likely to be the lowest result since Q2/FY2014.
    For Q2/FY2019:

    • NSW generated 14.5 TWh with 4.8% coming from renewable sources such as wind and hydropower, this is down from 8.6% renewable generation in the previous quarter.
    • QLD generated 13.4 TWh with 1.1% coming from renewable sources such as hydro energy, this is down from 1.4% renewable generation in the previous quarter.
    • VIC generated 9.0 TWh with 11.8% coming from renewable sources such as wind and hydro energy, this is down from 15.5% renewable generation in the previous quarter.
    • TAS generated 2.5 TWh with 98.4% coming from renewable sources such as wind and hydro, this is similar to renewable generation in the previous quarter.
    • SA generated 2.3 TWh with 40% coming from renewable sources such as wind energy, this is down from 43% renewable generation in the previous quarter.


Australia’s Annual Emissions, Year to December*

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Australia’s Quarterly Emissions by Sector*

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2 Degree Budget Expenditure to Date

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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 (2014), Reducing Australia’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions – Targets and Progress Review, Final Report (page 9)

This work is copyright. Apart from any use permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process, nor may any other exclusive right be exercised, without the permission of Ndevr Environmental, L2 27-31 King Street, Melbourne VIC 3000; 2017

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