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Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

24 May 2005

Australia still on target to Kyoto


Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, today welcomed new national greenhouse gas emission figures that confirm Australia remains on track to meet its Kyoto target.

The Australian Greenhouse Office's 2003 National Greenhouse Gas Inventory reports that national greenhouse gas emissions were 101.1 per cent of 1990 levels.

"The 2003 inventory shows we are still on track to meet our Kyoto emissions target," Senator Campbell said.

"These figures tell us that the Howard Government's $1.8 billion national climate change strategy is working. Without this strong approach, Australia's greenhouse gas emissions would be 125 per cent of 1990 levels by 2008-12."

The 2003 inventory results are consistent with projections released last December showing Australia is on track to meet its target of limiting emissions to 108 per cent of 1990 levels over the period 2008-2012. Net emissions from carbon dioxide, which account for 74 per cent of Australia's total greenhouse gas emissions, rose by 0.4 per cent between 1990 and 2003. The energy sector had the largest increases in emissions, with a 31 per cent increase since 1990.

Senator Campbell said Australia's greenhouse policies and programmes are projected to reduce emissions by 94 million tonnes by the end of the decade.

"This equates to removing every motor vehicle in Australia off the road," he said.

"We are managing to grow the economy while keeping greenhouse gas emissions to a minimum. GDP has increased by 51.9 per cent since 1990 while greenhouse gas emissions only increased by 1.1 per cent."

"The Australian Government will continue to show national leadership on climate change, because while today's figures are promising, there is still a lot of hard work to do.

"We will continue to push for a comprehensive global response to climate change, to develop programmes to reduce Australia's emissions, and to support the scientific and technological research needed to underpin good policy.

Senator Campbell said the Government was making its greenhouse gas emissions data available through the new interactive on-line Australian Greenhouse Emissions Information System for the first time, allowing people to find more detailed answers about how Australia is tracking to its Kyoto target and where our greenhouse gas emissions are coming from.

"Australia continues to be among the world's leading nations in improving the accessibility of greenhouse gas emissions data," Senator Campbell said.

Media contacts:
Renae Stoikos (Minister Campbell's office)   02 6277 7640 or   0418 568 434


BACKGROUND:

The 2003 National Greenhouse Gas Inventory (NGGI) is the Government's annual statistical report of national greenhouse gas emissions since 1990.

In 2003, Australia's net greenhouse gas emissions were estimated to be 550 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2-e). This represents a modest growth of 1.1 per cent in greenhouse gas emissions since 1990.

These Inventory results are consistent with the most recent projection of future greenhouse gas emissions that were released in December 2004. Australia remains on track to meet its internationally agreed 108 per cent target.

The 2003 Inventory reports a drop of 33.4 per cent in greenhouse gas emissions per dollar of GDP from 1990 to 2003. This is a result of specific emissions management across all sectors, and structural changes in the economy. Emissions per head of population have also fallen - by 13.3 per cent (from 32.1 to 27.8 Mt CO2-e) - over the same period.

Net emissions from carbon dioxide (CO2) - the most prevalent greenhouse gas - have risen by 0.4 per cent between 1990 and 2003. Carbon dioxide contributes 74 per cent (404.6 Mt CO2) of Australia's total greenhouse gas emissions.

The key sources of greenhouse gas emissions in Australia are the energy sector, accounting for 68 per cent of net national emissions in 2003, agriculture (17.7 per cent), and land-use change and forestry (6.3 per cent).

The Inventory is prepared as part of Australia's commitment under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), providing greenhouse gas emissions estimates for both the UNFCCC and for Australia's internationally agreed target to limit emissions to 108 per cent of 1990 levels over the period 2008-2012.

The Inventory reports estimates of emissions from 1990 to 2003. It is prepared in accordance with international guidelines and is subject to independent review. The methodologies used to prepare the estimates are documented and are available on-line.

This data will be available for the first time through the interactive on-line Australian Greenhouse Emissions Information System (AGEIS) at www.ageis.greenhouse.gov.au

The 2003 National Greenhouse Gas Inventory is available at www.greenhouse.gov.au/inventory/2003

Commonwealth of Australia