Thursday, 22 August 2019

Australia is the world’s third biggest exporter and fifth biggest miner of fossil fuels by CO2 potential

The Australia Institute, Tom Swann, High Carbon from a Land Down Under: Quantifying CO2 from Australia’s fossil fuel mining and exports, July 2019:

Australia is the world’s third biggest exporter and fifth biggest miner of fossil fuels by CO2 potential. 

Its exports are behind only Russia and Saudi Arabia, and far larger than Iraq, Venezuela and any country in the EU. Yet Australia’s economy is more diverse and less fossil fuel intensive than many other exporters. 

Australia has an opportunity and obligation to decarbonise its exports in line with the Paris Agreement.

Yahoo! Finance, 19 August 2019:

(Bloomberg) -- Australia’s booming coal industry has made it the world’s third-biggest exporter of potential carbon dioxide emissions locked in fossil fuels, placing it only behind oil giants Russia and Saudi Arabia. 

Australia makes up 7% of all global fossil fuel exports by carbon dioxide potential, as it accounts for almost one-third of the world coal trade, according to a report Monday from The Australia Institute, which has been critical of the federal government’s efforts to combat global climate change.  
While China and the U.S. are the world’s top greenhouse gas emitters in absolute terms, the report highlights the role relatively smaller polluters play in selling fossil fuels to other nations.

Australia, which is also one of the biggest gas exporters, supplies economies throughout Asia, including Japan, China and South Korea.

Exports of fossil fuels and supply infrastructure play a crucial role in locking in increased emissions, and their impact is often ignored in climate change policy, The AI said in the report. 

“Australia has a unique opportunity, and obligation, to face up to the climate crisis through policies to limit its carbon exports, starting with a moratorium on new coal mines,” it said. 

“The scale of exports from countries like Australia bring into stark relief why efforts to reduce world emissions must limit both demand and supply.” In terms of its own greenhouse gas pollution, Australia generates 1.2% of the world’s emissions while having just 0.3% of the population, according to the report. 

Domestic emissions have been rising in recent years as a number of giant gas export projects come on stream, while coal-fired power is still the mainstay of its electricity grid.....

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