New projections show improvement in path to emissions reduction targets

Australia’s Emissions Projections 2018 confirms that Australia will beat our 2020 emissions reduction target by more than 367 Mt CO2-e.

This is a great result for the environment. We have been able to achieve this while maintaining a strong economy and strong jobs growth.

Our 2020 target is a significant improvement on the 2017 estimates, which projected Australia would beat its 2020 target by 294 million tonnes (Mt) CO2-e.

We have also made significant progress to our 2030 target. Since 2008 we have seen a three billion tonne (Bt) CO2-e turn around in the abatement task to achieve our 2030 target. And we have seen a 173 Mt CO2-e or a 20 per cent reduction on last year’s projections of 868 Mt CO2-e.

Taking into account Australia’s overachievement during the first and second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, the abatement task to a 26 per cent target in 2030 is reduced to 328 Mt.

Before accounting for the overachievement, the difference between the projection and target trajectory is 695 Mt CO2-e.

This improvement is primarily a result of strong emissions reductions in the electricity sector. This has been driven by higher than expected investment in renewable energy.

In the National Electricity Market, emissions will be 28% below 2005 levels by 2023. Around 35% of the NEM’s electricity will be from renewables in 2021 and 39% by 2030.

The land sector also continues to make a strong contribution, as our farmers carry out revegetation projects on degraded land under the Emissions Reduction Fund.

Compared to 2005, the emissions intensity of our economy is projected to decline by 54 per cent by 2030.

Emissions per person are also forecast to fall by 38 per cent compared to 2005. Both emissions intensity and emissions per capita are at their lowest levels in 28 years.

We have overachieved on our 2020 target and are well on our way to meeting our commitment to the Paris Agreement 2030 target, all while maintaining a strong economy.

Our policies include the Emissions Reduction Fund and safeguard mechanism, the Renewable Energy Target, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, Snowy Pumped Hydro and energy efficiency measures.

The annual emissions projections are estimates of Australia’s future greenhouse gas emissions. They provide an indicative assessment of how Australia is tracking against its emissions reduction targets and an understanding of the expected drivers of future emissions.

The report is available at: www.environment.gov.au/climate-change/climate-science-data/emissions-projections

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