Australia’s emissions now well behind Paris trajectory

A surge in Australia’s first-quarter greenhouse gas emissions is increasing the gap between reality and the targeted trajectory the federal government continues to insist will be met “in a canter,” a new report has found.

The report, the latest emissions estimate from consultancy NDEVR Environmental shows emissions jumped by 3.4 million tonnes CO2-e compared to the same period a year prior, or around 2.5 per cent.

In the case of this quarter, NDEVR puts the jump down to a substantial increase in electricity emissions, up 8.2 per cent, due to a slight fall in renewable generation and a rise in power from fossil fuels.

But the trend shows Australia falling increasingly behind the pace of emissions reduction necessary to meet its Paris target, which requires a cut in overall emissions through to 2030 by between 26 – 28 per cent on 2005 levels.

And if the current trend continues, NDEVR estimates that Australia will overhoot its Paris targets by a cumulative amount of 970 million tonnes by 2030 – equal to another two additional years of emissions.

NDVER also notes that the Coalition government has made a significant recalculation of land use emissions, resulting in an increase of LULUCF emissions of 226.2 million tonnes between 2001 and 2017 – a 54 per cent increase from previously reported emissions figures.