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Renewables boom slashes Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions

Greenhouse Gas

Australia’s emissions have dropped by 29 per cent compared to June 2005 levels, according to the latest update of Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory.

The report, featuring Australia’s December 2023 quarterly data, reveals that total emissions across all sectors were 432.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. This marks a decrease of 2.4 million tonnes or 0.5 per cent from 2022.

The electricity sector saw the most significant reductions. A surge in renewable energy contributed to a 4.4 million tonne decrease in emissions. Fugitive emissions and stationary energy emissions (excluding electricity) also saw reductions of 2.1 per cent and 0.8 million tonnes respectively.

However, these decreases were somewhat offset by a 3.4 million-tonne increase in transport emissions and a 0.5 million-tonne increase in agriculture emissions. These increases reflect the ongoing recovery from the pandemic and changes in crop production and livestock populations.

In response to the rising transport emissions, the Parliament has passed the landmark New Vehicle Efficiency Standard. This is expected to reduce transport sector CO2 emissions by around 321 million tonnes and save motorists $95 billion in fuel by 2050.

Chris Bowen, Minister for Climate Change and Energy, said renewable generation increase by 25 per cent in the National Electricity Market since Labor took office.

“The Albanese Government’s energy plan is the only one supported by experts to deliver the clean, cheap, reliable and resilient energy system that Australians deserve,” he said.

“Our plan is delivering effective policies focussed on cost-of-living, like cleaner, cheaper to run cars with New Vehicle Efficiency Standards – not relying on a global pandemic and drought for emissions reduction.”

The government’s existing policy suite indicates that Australia is on track for a 42 per cent emissions reduction by 2030.

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