Carbon emissions increase for fifth year running
Australia continues to pump out harmful carbon emissions at a faster rate, figures released today show.
Greenhouse gas emissions rose by 0.6 per cent in the 12 months to March, according to quarterly data released today by the Department of Energy.
That amounted to an additional 3.1m tonnes for the 12 months, for a total of 538.9m tonnes.
This meant carbon emissions output has increased every year for the five years that Coalition governments have been in charge of climate change policy.
It was a timeline Labor's climate change spokesman Mark Butler was keen to highlight.
"Carbon emissions have been continuously rising since 2014 after coming down by more than 10 per cent during the last Labor Government," Mr Butler said.
"The Government's own projections show the Liberals will miss the 2020 Kyoto commitment of a five per cent cut on 2000 levels.
"The Government's own projections also show emissions will keep rising all the way to 2030 - missing their already inadequate 2030 target by a huge margin."
Greens climate change spokesman Adam Bandt said "When unreliable land use data" was excluded it was "the highest twelve months of pollution in Australia's history".
"Australia's addiction to coal and gas is pushing our emissions out of control, locking the world into a future of climate crisis," Mr Bandt said.
"Australia has just posted the highest 12 months of emissions on record, with pollution from coal, oil and gas projects rising by 5.9 per cent. While the rest of the world is getting serious about cutting pollution, Australia is polluting more than ever."
Carbon dioxide pollution declined as the take-up of solar and wind generation increased.
The Climate Council also pointed to natural gas extraction production which it said released huge amounts of emissions.
"This is another appalling report card for the Coalition government, which doesn't seem to understand the urgency or the gravity of the situation we are facing," Climate Council chief executive Amanda McKenzie said.
"Australians are already feeling the impact of climate change with worsening extreme weather events. We've seen bushfires raging in NSW through the winter resulting in property loss. There's also been no reprieve for drought afflicted areas."