Australia remains on track to meet its Kyoto Protocol target due in part to the global economic downturn, National Greenhouse Accounts released today show.
The Minister for Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Water, Senator Penny Wong, said the National Greenhouse Accounts show Australia's emissions fell between 2008 and 2009 by around 13 million tonnes (Mt). Australia formally submitted the reports to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) overnight.
'The latest National Greenhouse Accounts show Australia's emissions declined for a brief period in the early part of 2009, due largely to the global economic downturn,'' Senator Wong said.
'This means that Australia's emissions were lower in 2009 than 2008, ensuring Australia remains on track to meet our Kyoto target.
'However significant challenges remain over the longer term, with the underlying trends showing Australia's greenhouse gas emissions are again increasing.''
The National Greenhouse Gas Inventory states Australia's annual emissions (excluding emissions from land use, land use change and forestry activities) for the four quarters to December 2009 fell 2.4 per cent - from 550 Mt in 2008 to 537 Mt in 2009. However, for the most recent quarter emissions were estimated to have increased by 0.6 per cent on a trend basis.
'These results show that we still have the challenge of reducing emissions in all sectors of the economy,' Senator Wong said.
'For example, the increase in energy sector emissions between 1990 and 2009 was 43 per cent.
'We know that a price on carbon will be necessary to meet our targets and to reverse the climbing trend of emissions growth. We remain committed to the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme as the most effective and cheapest way of meeting our targets.''
Australia's National Greenhouse Accounts comprise four annual reports:
- The National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, which tracks progress towards Australia's 108 per cent Kyoto target and includes preliminary greenhouse gas emissions estimates for 2009.
- The State and Territory Greenhouse Gas Inventories 2008;
- The National Inventory by Economic Sector 2008; andThe National Inventory Report 2008 which provides estimates of Australia's net greenhouse gas emissions for 1990-2008 and is Australia's annual submission to the UNFCCC.