Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions fall 1.4 per cent in September quarter

The Hon. Melissa Price MP

Minister for the Environment

The September 2018 Quarterly Update of Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory released today shows emissions fell 1.4 per cent relative to the June quarter, driven by the lowest quarterly emissions from the electricity sector in more than a decade.

Electricity sector emissions are down 2.7 per cent for the quarter on a seasonally adjusted basis. A 2.4 per cent decrease in transport emissions and a 1.3 per cent fall in agriculture emissions also contributed to the overall quarterly decline.

Annually, emissions have increased by 0.9 per cent, primarily driven by strong growth in the resources and manufacturing sector. LNG exports are up 19.7 per cent for the year, while steel and aluminium production increased by 10 per cent and 5.5 per cent respectively.

The report shows national emissions were 15.1 per cent below the peak recorded in 2007. Emissions per capita and the emissions intensity of the economy were at their lowest levels in 29 years.

Electricity sector emissions have declined by 14.8 per cent since the peak recorded in 2009 as a result of the increase in renewable generation. In the year to December 2018, renewable generation in the NEM increased by 31.1 per cent.

The Government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation has invested $6.4 billion in energies of the future, leveraging $21 billion in the actual development of low-emissions technology. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has also provided $1.347 billion in grant funding to 441 new renewable energy projects to help integrate low-emissions technology into our energy grid.

The Morrison Government’s Climate Solutions Package is a comprehensive, fully costed, $3.5 billion plan to take action on climate change. We will easily meet and beat our 2020 Kyoto Target, and we will meet our responsible Paris 2030 target without compromising the economy.

The Climate Solutions Fund will build on the success of the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF), which has contracted 193 million tonnes in emission reductions. Our additional $2 billion investment will deliver more than 100 million tonnes of abatement by 2030.

Investments in pumped hydro technology from Snowy River 2.0 and Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation, and our support for energy efficiency measures will also make a significant contribution to Australia meeting its Paris commitments.

It’s now up to the Labor Party to explain how they intend to pursue a reckless 45 per cent emissions reduction target, which independent modelling has revealed would cost the economy $472 billion and slash more than 336,000 jobs.

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