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Minister for the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts 2001-2004

The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP



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Joint Media Release
The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
The Hon Ian Macfarlane, MP
Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources

13 April 2004

Australia still on Kyoto target - greenhouse intensity down 31%

The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp and Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources, Mr Ian Macfarlane today welcomed new greenhouse gas emission figures showing that Australia is still on track to meet its Kyoto target.

The Australian Greenhouse Office's 2002 National Greenhouse Gas Inventory reports that national greenhouse gas emissions were just 1.3 per cent above 1990 levels, despite an increase in GDP of 41 per cent over that period.

“These figures indicate the success of the Howard Government's effort in decoupling emissions from economic growth - Australia's emissions per unit of GDP have declined substantially, by 31 per cent from 1990 to 2002,” said the Ministers.

They are within expectations and consistent with projections released last September which show Australia is on track to meet its target of limiting emissions to 108 per cent of 1990 levels over the period 2008-2012.

“The report confirms the Howard Government's $1 billion investment in greenhouse gas programs is working, and achieving significant greenhouse gas abatement compared with ‘business as usual'.

“Without this strong investment greenhouse gas emissions would be 123 per cent of 1990 levels by 2008-12,” they said.

Net emissions from carbon dioxide, which account for 70 per cent of Australia's total greenhouse gas emissions, had fallen by 1.9 per cent between 1990 and 2002.

Emissions from other sources such as hydrofluorcarbons (HFCs) and nitrous oxide (N2O) have increased, but the Australian Government is taking strong action to reduce emissions from these sources.

“We have already introduced the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 2003 , which sets the international standard for managing synthetic greenhouse gases, the major source of hydrofluorcarbons.

“The Australian Government is leading action to reduce methane (CH4) emissions from livestock and nitrous oxide emissions from agriculture and managed land systems,” said the Ministers.

The Howard Government has invested significantly in renewable energy technologies and is working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from energy intensive sectors, which are the main source of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 67.5 per cent of net national emissions in 2002.

“The measures we have already taken through our partnerships with government, industry and the broader Australian community are expected to deliver annual emissions abatement of around 67 million tonnes by 2008-12 – the equivalent of taking all of Australia's cars, trucks and buses off the road.

“The Australian Government is serious about addressing climate change. It has invested $1 billion in practical climate change measures that are making a difference without reducing our international competitiveness.

“This Government is delivering both environmental and economic outcomes for Australia,” they said.

The 2002 National Greenhouse Gas Inventory is available on-line at

Commonwealth of Australia