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

23 May 2006

Greenhouse Accounts show Australia is still on target for 108 per cent


Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, today released Australia’s National Greenhouse Accounts, showing that Australia is still on track to meet its internationally agreed target of 108 per cent of 1990 emissions despite strong growth in energy consumption.

“The accounts show our emissions have increased by 2.3 per cent between 1990 and 2004, which is where we need to be to meet our target,” Senator Campbell said.

Australia’s total greenhouse emissions in 2004 were 564.7 million tonnes (Mt). The contribution from the States are 28.2 per cent from New South Wales, 28.1 per cent from Queensland, 21.8 per cent from Victoria, 12.2 per cent from Western Australia, 4.9 per cent from South Australia, 2.8 per cent from the Northern Territory, 1.9 per cent from Tasmania, and .02 per cent from the Australian Capital Territory (ACT based on partial inventory).

Figure 1: State and Territory Total Emissions in 2004 (Mt)

Figure 1: State and Territory Total Emissions in 2004 (Mt)

“These figures show that everyone – State Governments, Local Governments and the Australian Government, along with industry and individuals – has a role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and meeting the challenges of climate change,” Senator Campbell said.

The small increase in Australia’s overall emissions has occurred during a period in which both the Australian economy and population have grown significantly. Australia’s ‘greenhouse intensity’ has decreased by 35 per cent since 1990.

“Since 1990, our GDP has increased by 57 per cent while our greenhouse emissions have only increased by 2.3 per cent. While these figures represent good news, we can't afford to be complacent,” Senator Campbell said.

“Australia contributes just 1.4 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions – Australia on its own cannot make a real dent in global emissions. That’s why the Australian Government is working hard to develop an effective global response that involves all major emitters.

“Australia contributes just 1.4 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. If we turned off all power stations in Australia, the greenhouse gas emissions would be completely replicated by the fast growth of China in just 11 months.

“We are working through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, playing a leading role in the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, and have been invited to participate in the G8 Dialogue on Climate Change, Clean Energy and Sustainable Development.”

Domestically, through its $2 billion climate change strategy, the Australian Government is working with industry and business – through ground breaking renewable energy programmes such as the $500 million Low Emissions Technology Demonstration Fund, $75 million Solar Cities and the Challenge Plus Programme – to help them reduce their emissions and develop the technologies that will be needed in the future.

Since 2000 more than $38 million worth of rebates have been approved for over 6700 household and communities to convert sunlight into electricity under the Photo Voltaic Rebate Programme.

“Under previous Labor governments there were just 20 wind turbines built. Today there are almost 600 wind turbines built or under construction,” Senator Campbell said.

“We are helping land owners understand and reduce emissions from agricultural production, both for climate and business benefits. We are working with Local Governments to help them introduce climate friendly practices in their communities and we are also helping individual households use energy more wisely and efficiently.

“By releasing these comprehensive accounts, the Government is helping to inform all Australians on Australia’s emission levels, trends and outcomes.”

Attached is some background information about Australia’s National Greenhouse Accounts.

Media Contact:
Marianne McCabe 02 6277 7640 or 0400 389 580


BACKGROUND:

Australia’s National Greenhouse Accounts

Commonwealth of Australia