A report released with obscure timing by Australia’s conservative Liberal-National government has shown Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions increased in 2014-15.
The December 2015 quarterly update of carbon emissions, which covers the period to the end of June 2015, was released with no fanfare on Christmas Eve.
It shows that Australia’s emissions increased by 0.8 per cent last financial year compared with the previous one, and 1.3 per cent when land use and deforestation were taken into account.
Australia generated 549.3 mega-tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2014-15.
The Australian government promised at the United Nations sponsored Paris climate talks to reduce emissions by 26 to 28 per cent by 2030.
The report points to increases in electricity, stationary energy (excluding electricity), transport, fugitive emissions, and industrial processes and product use.
However it says there was a steep decline, 3.8 per cent, in emissions from agriculture.
Power generation from black coal increased by 1.4 per cent, and brown coal generation increased by 9.7 per cent.
Electricity from wind and other renewable energy, excluding small-scale solar, increased 12.2 per cent on the previous 12 months, but hydroelectric generation fell by 30.3 per cent.
Professor Will Steffen from the Climate Council told Fairfax Media the December figures showed Australia needed to urgently wean itself off coal to meet its global commitments.
“We’ve got to drop emissions fast. We’ve got to get out of fossil fuels very quickly, coal first, there can no new coalmines anywhere in the world.”