Australia on track to miss Paris climate targets as emissions hit record highs

Australia on track to miss Paris climate targets as emissions hit record highs

NDEVR Environmental data suggests Australia will miss targets by 1bn tonnes of carbon dioxide under current trajectory

Emissions from a power station
NDEVR Environmental figures for the year up to the end of June 2018 show Australia’s emissions were the highest on record when unreliable data from the land use and forestry sectors was excluded. Photograph: Bloomberg via Getty Images

Australia remains on track to miss its Paris climate targets as carbon emissions continue to soar, according to new data.

The figures from NDEVR Environmental for the year up to the end of June 2018 show the country’s emissions were again the highest on record when unreliable data from the land use and forestry sectors was excluded.

It is the third consecutive year for record-breaking emissions.

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NDEVR replicates the federal government’s national greenhouse gas inventory (NGGI) quarterly reports but releases them months ahead of the official data. Previous NDEVR figures have been within 1% of the official figures when eventually released.

The government has yet to publish any emissions data for 2018. Its last update was for the year to December 2017, which it published in May and showed Australia’s emissions continue to soar.

NDEVR’s report projects Australia will miss its Paris targets by about a billion tonnes of carbon dioxide if emissions continue on their current trajectory.

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It projects that emissions, excluding land use, will be 558m tonnes, the highest since records began in 2002.

It finds that transport emissions were the highest on record in the final quarter of the 2018 financial year and continue to rise. NDEVR said this was due to the rapid increase in the use of diesel fuel in both passenger cars and heavy transport.

Emissions from stationary energy and fugitive emissions continue to trend upwards. The rise in stationary emissions is mostly attributable to energy industries excluding electricity generation

NDEVR’s report projects a drop in emissions from the electricity sector for the final quarter of the 2018 financial year because of a reduction in total electricity generation in the national electricity market states and an increase in generation from renewables.

But Matt Drum, the managing director of NDEVR Environmental, said Australia was still not on track to meet its Paris targets.

“Tracking the Paris trend line, they’re still heading north and missing Paris by a long way and our 2050 two-degree target by an even greater margin,” he said.

“The data’s telling us clearly again that we’re not on a trajectory to meet our targets, there’s no effective policy to meet our targets, but we’re still hearing commentary from the government that we’re on track to meet our targets.”