The Turnbull Government’s long-awaited climate change policy review has done nothing more than kick the can down the road while Australia’s climate pollution continues to soar, the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) says.
The review’s release came as new data again confirmed that Australia’s climate pollution is rising, up 1.3 per cent (including land use, land use change and forestry) across the 12 months to June. Longer-term projections also show pollution is set to rise by 3.5 per cent between 2020 and 2030 without significant intervention, which would make a mockery of the Government’s claim that we will meet our Paris targets.
ACF Chief Executive, Kelly O’Shanassy, said the Turnbull Government’s long-awaited climate review was backing failed policies that had allowed Australia’s pollution to rise after the national carbon price was repealed.
“This government does not take the threat of climate change seriously and is recklessly endangering the lives of Australians who will bear the brunt of more extreme fires, floods and droughts in a warmer world,” Ms O’Shanassy said.
“All this review does is put off the real work until 2020. In the meantime the Turnbull Government has looked to scrap, weaken and defund tools proven to be effective in tackling climate change like the national renewable energy target, Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, while persisting with its failed Direct Action policy and leaving the heavy lifting to state governments.
“In fact, since the Coalition repealed the national carbon price, climate pollution has risen by 3.7 per cent.
“The Australian community is tired of the delay and spin from Canberra. It is time for the excuses to end and for a comprehensive national plan to be put in place to cut climate pollution and accelerate the transition to clean energy.
“We see no evidence that the National Energy Guarantee as currently proposed will put significant downwards pressure on pollution. A significant upswing in clean energy has been the only real saviour in the otherwise dismal climate pollution picture released today, and the NEG as currently proposed is set to put the brakes on the transition from burning coal and gas to harvesting energy from the sun and wind.
“We welcome consideration of new pollution limits for cars. But the Turnbull Government should take heed of rising transport pollution and get on with implementing the strictest standards immediately instead of waiting for the tacit approval of self-interested lobby groups like the Australian Automobile Association.”
Media Brief: Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory Update
The Federal Government has released its quarterly update of the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory for the June 2017 quarter.
In the year to June 2017 Australia’s emissions increased 1.3 per cent (including land use, land use change and forestry), but there was a decrease of 2.2 per cent in emissions from the electricity sector. According to the Environment and Energy Department this decrease was partially driven by weakening demand in the National Electricity Market.
Stationary energy use increased by 3.3 per cent because of a 41.6 per cent increase in LNG production.
Since coming to office in September 2013 the Coalition has made no progress in reducing Australia’s overall emissions. In fact, there is an upward trend. In its first quarter in Government (December 2013) emissions were at 132.7 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2 -e). For the June 2017 quarter they are now at 136.2 Mt CO2 -e. An increase of 2.6 per cent.
Since the Government repealed a price on pollution in June 2014 emissions have risen 3.7 per cent, with Australia’s emissions currently above 2012 levels.
The current Government has set Australia’s 2030 emission target at 441 – 435 (Mt CO2-e). Australia’s emissions for the year to June 2017 are at 550.1 Mt CO2-e. This target is not consistent with the Government’s commitment at Paris to limit global warming well below 2°C.