Sunday, 3 January 2016
In 1990 Australia’s national greenhouse gas emissions were estimated at 547.7 Mt CO2-e for that year. That represents 32.1 tonnes of CO2-e emitted for every person in a population of 17.06 million spread across approximately 7.69 million km2.
Australia’s annual emissions for the 2014-15 financial year were est. 549.3 Mt CO2-e. Up 0.8 per cent on the year before.That’s 18.75 tonnes of CO2-e emitted for every person in a population of 23.7 million. [Australian Bureau of Statistics, Population Size And Growth & Greenhouse Gases, Dept. of the Environment, Quarterly Update of Australia's National Greenhouse Gas Inventory: June 2015, australia.gov.au]
Therefore, national greenhouse gas emissions data showed an estimated rise of 1.6 Mt CO2-e when comparing 1990 & 2015 and, the reason the per capita count fell appears to have been influenced by the fact that the national total is now divided among more residents across the country.
Basically, federal and state governments have spent the last 25 years bringing the nation’s emissions level back to somewhere near 1990 levels, when the reality of climate change impacts strongly suggests that Australia should have driven the emissions level well below that figure by now.
After all, in 2012 the European Union (EU), with land mass of approx. 4.42 million km2 and a population then estimated at 503 million inhabitants, managed to reduce its total annual greenhouse gas emissions by est. 19.2 % (EU28 countries) and 15.1% (EU15 countries) when compared with its 1990 levels. This represented a combined total difference of 1,731 Mt CO2-e from those 1990 levels [Europa.eu,2015 & Annual European Union greenhouse gas inventory 1990–2012 and inventory report 2014].
The Liberal-Nationals Coalition Government went to UN COP21 in 2015 and, in front of world leaders, merely offering to keep Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions at between 26-28% below the 2005 level of 584.2 Mt CO2-e by 2030 is dangerously deluded behaviour [Dept. of Prime Minister and Cabinet, 2015, Australia’s 2030 Emission Reduction Target, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Greenhouse Gases].
Essentially the Australian Government told the entire world it was not prepared to do anything more than window dressing in the face of a growing global crisis.
If you don't act quickly and decisively on climate change, it will be to your enduring shame Malcolm Bligh Turnbull.
Note: Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) emissions totals are excluded from the national total due to relatively high levels of uncertainty at this stage of the data collection cycle.