Local emissions rise
New figures show Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise.
The Federal Government released its latest emissions figures last Friday afternoon, during a public holiday in Victoria and alongside the release of a major report into the banking sector.
Emissions climbed 1.3 per cent in the year to March 2018, with a 0.3 increase in the March quarter alone.
Emissions increased in all sectors except electricity, which fell 4.3 per cent in the year to March, and land use, which was recorded as a 5.2 per cent carbon sink.
Climate Analytics director Bill Hare said it shows Australia is still not on track to meet its Paris commitment of a 26 to 28 per cent reduction from its 2005 levels by 2030.
“While emissions from the national electricity market continue to decrease due to increasing renewable electricity, Australian emissions as a whole continue to increase,” he said.
“On present trends, with virtually no policies apart from the renewable energy target, which will expire in 2020 and not be replaced, emissions are set to gallop way past the Paris agreement target.”
He said the decline in per capita emissions appears to be flattening out “at a time when this should be accelerating”.
Matt Drum, managing director of emissions-tracking group NDEVR environmental, said emissions were rising due to the absence of climate policy.
“All the figures show emissions are increasing because they’ve got no policy,” he said.
“What I’m really interested in is what policy is Labor going to reveal in the coming weeks?
“The current government have made it very clear they’re not interested in doing anything about emissions.”
Environment minister Melissa Price has not responded to the concern about the increase in emissions.