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National Greenhouse Accounts Released

By various experts

The latest National Greenhouse Accounts, which compare Australia’s emissions to our Kyoto Protocol obligations, show that Australia’s carbon pollution is currently tracking at 104% of 1990 levels. Australia’s Kyoto Protocol target is to limit emissions to 108% of 1990 levels, on average, over the period from 2008–12.

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“A striking feature of the data is that aggregate emissions have remained unchanged since 2008, although GDP has increased by 15% in that time. The fact that the link between GDP growth and emissions has been broken is encouraging evidence that we can achieve substantial reductions in emissions without damaging living standards.”

Professor John Quiggin is an Australian Research Council Federation Fellow at the School of Economics, University of Queensland.


“The National Greenhouse Accounts reveal that the total greenhouse gas emissions in Australia rose by 0.6% over the last year and Australia remains on track to meet its Kyoto Protocol target. This result is just about what was expected, and indeed is ‘no big deal’. This target itself is a straw man, given that it involves an increase in emissions when we actually need to reduce them.

“What is much more important is what is likely to happen in the future. The carbon pricing under the government’s ‘carbon tax’ policy should assist the effort to contain the growth in emissions. However, even with the carbon price it is unlikely that there would be a fall in emissions during 2012 unless there is a dramatic fall in economic activity in the remainder of the year (which none of us want).

“To reduce Australia’s carbon emissions significantly will need a change in the way...

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Source: AusSMC