The Federal Government released its quarterly update of the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory for the March and June 2016 quarters on Thursday 22 December.
In the year to June 2016 Australia’s emissions increased 0.8 per cent, with an increase of 1.2 per cent in emissions from the electricity sector because of a rise in overall demand for electricity (1.9 per cent) in the National Electricity Market.
Since coming to office in September 2013 the Coalition has made no progress in reducing Australia’s overall levels of climate pollution. In fact, there is an upward trend. In its first June quarter in Government (June 2014) emissions were at 131.5 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2-e). In the June 2016 quarter they were at 134.4 (Mt CO2 -e), an increase of 2.2 per cent.
This increase in emissions is a result of an increased use of demand for electricity rather than a dramatic change in fuel mix. The energy intensity of the National Electricity Market remained constant over the year to June indicating that the need for a plan to Australia’s energy transition remains as urgent as ever.
The current Government has set Australia’s 2030 emission target at 441–435 (Mt CO2-e). Australia’s current yearly emission are 536.5 (Mt CO2-e). This target is not consistent with the Government’s commitment at Paris to limit global warming to well below 2°C.
“It is clear Federal Government policy to reduce climate pollution is failing,” said ACF’s economist Matthew Rose.
“A proper review of climate policies – with all options on the table – is extremely important.
“Transition for the electricity sector is a crucial environment and economic reform that today’s data shows is being neglected.
“It is also disappointing the Government has decided to release such critical data so close to Christmas in what one can only assume is a tactic to avoid scrutiny.
“A Freedom of Information request delivered to ACF last night shows the Government has had this data since September.
“If the Government is so embarrassed by the results, it should improve its policies.”