Previous Government legacy on climate is to leave emissions trending upwards

Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources

The Albanese Government has today released the December 2021 Quarterly Update of Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory.

In the year to the end of December 2021, emissions were 488.0 million tonnes – 0.8% or 4.1 million tonnes higher than the same period in 2020.

We know that in the absence of climate policy – the Liberals and Nationals relied on COVID and drought to bank emissions reductions.

With the resumption of more normal economic activity, continuing recovery from drought and increases in manufacturing and resources sector activity, the previous Government caps off its record of denial and delay by increasing emissions on the way out.

It is the Albanese Government’s view that a global recession, pandemic, and drought are not economically desirable, nor sustainable ways to reduce national emissions.

Their failure to deliver proper climate policy over a decade undermines the great strides in emissions reduction made through household solar, the Renewable Energy Target and state-based renewable schemes in the electricity sector over recent years.

National Electricity Market (NEM) emissions from electricity generation continued their long-term, structural decline in the year to December 2021, down 4.2% or 7.0 million tonnes.

This is not the case for the whole economy.

Emissions in the December quarter 2021 increased by 0.1% (0.1 Mt CO2-e) relative to the previous quarter, on a trend basis.

Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions are now at 21.4% below June 2005 levels – the baseline year for our 2030 Paris Agreement target.

The Albanese Government has committed to a more ambitious 2030 target, to reduce emissions to 43% below 2005 levels, and finally put Australia on track to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Most importantly – these commitments are underpinned by the Government’s Powering Australia plan that is squarely focussed on the economic interests of Australian families and businesses.

Good climate and energy policy is good economic policy – it doesn’t rely on recession and drought for short term and temporary emissions reduction.

The Quarterly Update of Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory: December 2021 can be found here: https://industry.gov.au/nggiquarterly

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