Australia's Greenhouse Gas Emissions Print Digg Digg Facebook Facebook Twitter

Australia generates about 1.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. However, on a per capita basis, Australia is one of the world's largest polluters.  

For the year to June 2012, our national inventory emissions per capita were about 24.4 tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per person. Only a few countries in the world rank higher — Bahrain, Bolivia, Brunei, Kuwait and Qatar.

Australia's per capita CO2 emissions are nearly twice the OECD average and more than four times the world average.

 

Sources of Australia’s Emissions:


 Source: Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Australia’s Emission Projections 20102

 

Changes in Emissions
By ratifying the Kyoto Protocol in 2007, Australia agreed to stabilise its emissions (for the five-year commitment period of 2008 to 2012) at no more than 108% of its 1990 (base year) emissions level.

Australia’s net greenhouse gas emissions between 1990 and 2007 increased by 9%. Therefore, in order to meet its Kyoto target for the 2008 to 2012 period, Australia will need to lower its emissions slightly from the 2007 level.

 

Emissions by sector

The Department of Climate Change classifies greenhouse gas emissions (and removals, e.g. by forests acting as carbon sinks) into six sectors. The sectors listed below represent the main human activities contributing to the release or capture of greenhouse gases into or from the atmosphere
    * Energy

    * Agriculture
    * Land use, land use change and forestry
    * Industrial processes
    * Waste
    * Solvents and other product use

Below are more details of the major emissions sectors:

 

Energy

The energy sector (stationary energy, transport and fugitive) is responsible for the majority of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions accounting for 76.9% (417.4 Mt CO2-e) of Australia’s net emissions in 2010, (excluding land use, land use change and forestry). The Energy Industries subsector accounts for 55.4% of this value, principally, electricity generation, transport and manufacturing. 40.5 Mt was from fugitive emissions (related mainly to coal mining). Between 1990 and 2010, energy emissions increased by 44.2%.4

 

FUELS USED IN AUSTRALIAN ELECTRICITY GENERATION, 2009-10


Source

PJ

Share %


Thermal

 

 

Coal

2,229

37.5

Oil

2,058

34.6

Gas

1,372

23.1

Total thermal

2,360

96.4

Renewables

 

 

Hydro

45

0.8

Wind (a)

17

0.3

Biomass

192

3.2

Solar 11 0.2
Biogas/biofuels 21 0.4

Total renewables

286

4.8


Note: Figures are for energy input, not output.
(a) Includes solar photovoltaic electricity generation.
Source: Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, 20113

    
Australia’s per capita electricity consumption is about 22 % above the OECD average, while our per capita emissions due to electricity generation are more than three times the OECD average. The difference is largely because of the high emissions intensity of electricity generated in Australia from coal fired power stations.    

Transport

Transport activity is the other major source of emissions related to the combustion of fossil fuels. Transport contributed 83.2 Mt CO2-e or 15% of Australia’s net emissions in 2010. Emissions from this sector were 32% higher in 2010 than in 1990.


Road transport was the main source of transport emissions in 2010, accounting for 71.5 Mt CO2-e or 86% of national emissions. Passenger cars were the largest transport source, contributing 41.7 Mt CO2-e.
 

Agriculture

The agriculture sector produces most of Australia’s methane and nitrous oxide emissions. Agriculture produced an estimated 79.5 Mt CO2-e emissions or 14.6% of net national emissions in 2010.
 

AGRICULTURE SECTOR EMISSIONS, 2010


 

Emissions (Mt CO2-e)

CH4

N20

Total


Enteric fermentation

53.8

-

53.8

Manure management

1.7

1.6

3.3

Rice cultivation

0.2

-

0.2

Agricultural soils

-

13.2

13.2

Prescribed burning of savannas

6.6

2.1

8.6

Field burning of agricultural residues

0.2

0.1

0.3

Total agriculture sector

62.6

16.8

79.5


Source:Department of Climate Change, 2009, National Inventory Report 2007 Volume 1.


References and further information:

  1. Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency 2010, Australia‚Äüs emissions projections 2010, DCCEE, Canberra, ACT.
  2. Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences Energy Update 2011
  3. Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, 2012 Australian National Greenhouse Accounts
  4. Australian Bureau of Statistics 4613.0 Australia's Environment: Issues and Trends, Jan 2010  

 

 


 

Australian National Greenhouse Accounts

National Greenhouse Gas Inventory accounting for the KYOTO target May 2010–

download pdf here

 


 


 


 

 

 

 

 

 
Follow Carbon Neutral: Newsletter Facebook Twitter Youtube Privacy and Security | Copyright © 2011 Carbon Neutral. All rights reserved.