Latest National Greenhouse Gas Inventory update released

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The Federal Government has released the update of Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory for the June 2019 quarter.

During the year to June 2019, emissions fell 0.1 per cent, or 0.4 Mt CO2-e, to 532.0 Mt CO2‑e.

New data highlighted in the report reveals that emissions are at their lowest level since 2015-16.

Emissions from electricity generation fell for a third year in a row, down 1.2 per cent or 2.1 Mt CO2-e. During the September Quarter 2019, emissions in the National Electricity Market fell to their lowest level since records began in 2001.

The report highlights the ongoing impact of the drought and Queensland floods on the agriculture sector, where emissions have declined 5.9 per cent or 4.2 Mt CO2-e in 2018‑19.

The report also outlines the impact of emissions from Australian exports in recent years, which have placed upward pressure on Australia’s total emissions even as these exports lower global emissions (for example, by displacing more emissions-intensive fuels).

Emissions related to producing Australia’s exports have increased as a share of total emissions from 30.1 per cent or 161 Mt CO2-e in 2013-14, to 37.5 per cent or 199 Mt CO2‑e in 2018-19. The rapid growth of the LNG industry accounts for much of this increase. The value of Australian exports has also increased by 36.4 per cent since 2013‑14, to $372 billion in 2018-19.

The Department of the Environment and Energy has prepared a consumption-based inventory. Emissions released in Australia and in other countries due to Australian domestic consumption have decreased by 4 per cent or 20 Mt CO2-e, to 450 Mt CO2-e in 2018-19.

Consumption-based emissions are 18 per cent or 102 Mt CO2-e lower in 2018-19 than in 2004-05.

Emissions related to LNG production, a key export sector, increased by 22.3 per cent or 7.8 Mt CO2-e in 2018-19. Australia’s LNG exports are estimated to be worth $49.8 billion in 2018-19 and have the potential to reduce global emissions by up to 159 Mt CO2-e, or up to 29.9 per cent of Australia’s annual emissions.

Australia’s emissions are 15.2 per cent below the peak recorded in the year to June 2007 and 12.9 per cent below emissions in 2005 (the baseline year for the Paris Agreement).

In the year to June 2019, emissions per capita have fallen 40.9 per cent compared to 1990, while the emissions intensity of the economy has fallen 62.9 per cent.

During the June Quarter 2019, emissions were unchanged relative to the previous quarter, on a seasonally adjusted and weather normalised basis.

In 2018-19, Emissions Reduction Fund projects reduced emissions by 13.7 Mt CO2-e.

The Government says they welcome these developments as they deliver their $3.5 billion Climate Solutions Package, which maps out how Australia will meet our 2030 Paris target.

 The Government maintains the commitment is achievable, balanced and responsible, and is part of coordinated global action to deliver a healthy environment for future generations while keeping the economy strong.

National inventory total from 2013 to 2019, by financial year:

Financial year Emissions (Mt CO2-e)
2005 610.6
2012 558.3
2013 537.6
2014 533.9
2015 530.6
2016 528.0
2017 532.7
2018 532.4
2019 532.0
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