“Flatlining emissions is not good enough.”
In response to the latest quarterly greenhouse emissions data, Australian Conservation Foundation CEO Kelly O’Shanassy said:
“There is very little to be encouraged about in these figures, with Australia’s official climate pollution levels just as bad as they were in the previous quarter.
“The United Nations has assessed that global emissions need to fall by 7.6 per cent a year for the next decade to have any change of avoiding runaway climate damage.
“Flatlining emissions is not good enough.
“In this latest data we’re seeing the impacts of climate change – especially the devastating drought – hitting Australia’s farmers hard, resulting in fewer emissions from that sector.
“The government’s climate change policies are not helping cut pollution from key sectors like heavy industry and transport.
“Of serious concern is the 16.9 per cent increase in emissions from the gas industry in the year to September 2019.
“While Prime Minister Morrison and Energy Minister Taylor regularly downplay Australia’s ability to be a leader on cutting pollution, the truth is we are a big contributor to the global climate problem with our coal-dominated electricity system and our coal and gas exports.
“Research released last year by ACF shows if government and industry projections for fossil fuel expansions are realised, and if the rest of the world adopts policies consistent with the Paris Agreement, Australia could be responsible for 17 per cent of global emissions by 2030.
“The Energy Minister might criticise a target for net zero emissions by 2050, but the UK, New Zealand, Canada and 70 other countries are committed to it and many key business players, including the Business Council of Australia, advocate such a target for Australia.
“To keep digging and burning fossil fuels will condemn Australians to many more and worse bushfire seasons, more extreme heatwaves and water shortages. We have to have much stronger targets to cut climate pollution and a credible plan to get us to those goals.”