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Australia's greenhouse gas emission abatement record goes far beyond disheartening

January 2, 2018 - 00:15 -- Admin

In 1990 Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions were calculated at 547.7 million tonnes (Mt), CO2 -equivalent (CO2 -e). This represented 32.1 tonnes CO2-e per head of population.In the following years emissions rose and fell in response to economic and environmental factors, so that in 2005 annual emissions totalled 584.2  Mt CO2-e or 28.6 tonnes CO2-e per head of population.By 2007 these annual emissions had risen to 597.2 Mt CO2-e. That was 28.3 tonnes CO2-e  per head of population.  [Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 4613.0 - Australia's Environment: Issues and Trends, Jan 2010]  In 2008 total greenhouse gas emissions were still climbing to reach 618.1 Mt CO2  –e.Total greenhouse gas emissions were still high in 2009 with an annual total of 599.8 Mt CO2 -e.At the close of 2010 national emissions had fallen to 543 Mt CO2 –e for the year.Then by the end of 2011 annual greenhouse gas emissions came to 546.3 Mt CO2 –e.Annual emissions for the year to December 2012 were estimated to be 551.9 Mt CO2 -eIn 2013 annual greenhouse gas emissions were estimated to be 538.4 Mt CO2 –e. 2014 saw annual emissions reach an estimated to be 535.9 Mt CO2 –e.Come 2015 and annual greenhouse gas emissions totalled 529.2 Mt CO2 -e. This gives an estimated 21.1 tonnes CO2-e per head of population. [Dept. of the Environment and Energy, Progress of the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory]However, Australia’s Emissions Projections 2017 report released last December by the Turnbull Government states in part:“Australia’s emissions have risen in the past three years. A major factor in this growth has been the rapid expansion of the LNG sector.”“Total emissions in 2030 are projected to be 570 Mt CO2-e.”Back in 2015 the Australian Government promised to reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions to 26-28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030. Based on ABS data that should equate to an estimated annual emissions level of 420.7 Mt CO2 -e to 432.4 Mt CO2 –e in 2030 or between 20.6 to 21.2 tonnes CO2-e per head of population.Instead the latest report is indicating that Australia’s emissions are expected to exceed not only the base line 1990 level but also the 2005 annual greenhouse gas emissions level, with per capita emissions remaining static at approximately the 2015 figure.It appears that policy efforts of the last twenty-seven years have been for nought, because it looks for all the world as though Turnbull & Co have abandoned any pretence they care about genuine, effective emissions reduction.If the current federal government and industry had to sit a climate change exam today they would likely receive an F for failure  from the examiners.