Reaching emissions goal a 'fantasy': Labor

Reaching emissions goal a 'fantasy': Labor


Farm Online News
Australia's latest greenhouse gas data shows emissions rose compared to the previous quarter.

Australia's latest greenhouse gas data shows emissions rose compared to the previous quarter.

Aa

The latest data has shown that greenhouse gas levels have continued to rise.

Aa

Labor says it's a government "fantasy" that Australia is on track to meet its emissions reduction targets, after the latest data showed greenhouse gas levels continue to rise.

The December quarter figures released on Thursday show a 0.8 per cent increase compared to the previous quarter and a 0.7 per cent rise from the same time last year.

The increase has again been pinned on the liquefied natural gas industry.

Emissions in the electricity sector fell by 3.5 per cent in the year to December and agricultural pollution dropped by 3.3 per cent.

But emissions increased in the other six sectors due to growing LNG exports, and steel and aluminium production.

Transport emissions rose 2.8 per cent over the year, due to a 10.9 per cent increase in diesel consumption.

Overall, Australia's emissions have decreased by 9.5 per cent in 30 years.

Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor says Australia is now almost 12 per cent below its 2005 levels.

The country has pledged to reduce emissions by 26 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 as part of the Paris agreement.

However, government projections show more than half that target can be achieved through carryover credits from achieving goals of the Kyoto protocol.

Although Australia met its target in the first Kyoto agreement, it allowed for an increase of emissions.

Labor's energy spokesman Mark Butler says it's a government "fantasy" that Australia is on track to reach the Paris targets.

Mr Taylor's announcement focused on the data per capita, while talking up the benefits of LNG.

"Today's release shows once again that the Liberals will try every trick in the book to avoid scrutiny of their record on tackling climate change," Mr Butler said.

LNG exports are largely behind the country's increasing emissions, but Mr Taylor believes credit should be given for exporting a less carbon-intensive power source to other nations.

"The Morrison government is not going to trash successful Australian export industries that are reducing global emissions, in order to reduce Australian emissions," he said in a statement.

Greens MP Adam Bandt has vowed to chase the government and department for answers over why the release of the data was delayed, and why it was given to select media before being made public.

Mr Taylor insists the government's climate solutions plan will achieve the Paris target, primarily through paying companies and communities for projects to reduce pollution.

The plan says the Battery of the Nation hydro electricity project will reduce emissions by 25 million tonnes by 2030, while a national vehicle strategy will reduce pollution by 10 million tonnes.

The government has also accounted for "technology improvements" to reach the Paris goal.

Vivien Thomson from the Australian Firefighters Climate Alliance has warned that rising emissions are exposing communities to higher risks from more intense bushfires and other extreme weather events.

Ms Thomson says the climate-fuelled disasters stretch the mental and physical limits of firefighters, and cost billions in clean up and recovery costs.

The Climate Council says the government needs to rethink its approach to reducing emissions, as levels have increased over the past four years.

"The prime minister and his new cabinet have an opportunity for a fresh start. We cannot waste another three years," Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie said.

Australian Associated Press

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by