Australia’s emissions are already rising

By Mike Morrison. Let’s be honest – if you look at the numbers, Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions are already going up. Under the Government’s Direct Action strategy, the required cut for 2030 now looks…

Australia's emissions are already rising

By Mike Morrison.

Let’s be honest – if you look at the numbers, Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions are already going up. Under the Government’s Direct Action strategy, the required cut for 2030 now looks like a big fudge.

Emissions in 2012 were 28 per cent higher than they were in 1990.

The 2030 target is 32 per cent, but that’s based on a hockey stick-style graph where the cut in emissions in 2020 gets locked in when emissions are set to peak by 2020, and then drops off over the subsequent decade.

Under this approach, 2030 emissions are likely to jump to an all-time high. So, where will emissions go up? Well, almost anywhere if you assume that Australia’s population and economy will keep growing.

And Australia has much more output from emissions-intensive industries than its per capita emissions suggest.

And the main reason emissions are rising is that we use more electricity. The Government is right that power emissions have risen, but a lot of it is because the renewable energy target means we now need to use more electricity to generate extra energy than we could back up with extra gas and coal.

The lesson is clear: Australia’s emissions are rising. And it isn’t hard to see how they will continue to rise unless our Governments start cutting emissions.

This post first appeared on Higher Ground

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