Reliable renewables boom continues to drive down Australia’s emissions

The December 2023 Quarterly Update of Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory released today shows Australia’s emissions are down year-on-year compared to the same period in 2022.

Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions are now 29.0% below June 2005 levels – the base year for our Paris Agreement target.

Total emissions across all sectors were 432.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent – which is 2.4 million tonnes or 0.5% lower than 2022.

The biggest reductions once again were in the electricity sector – thanks to big boosts to renewables driving 4.4 million tonnes of emissions reduction.

Fugitive emissions are down 2.1% or 1 million tonnes, and stationary energy (excluding electricity) emissions were down 0.8 million tonnes.

These decreases were partially offset by a 3.4 million-tonne increase in transport emissions and a 0.5 million-tonne increase in agriculture emissions, reflecting the ongoing recovery from the pandemic and changes in crop production and livestock populations.

This makes the landmark New Vehicle Efficiency Standard just passed by the Parliament even more important – with transport sector CO2 emissions expected to reduce by around 321 million tonnes and save motorists $95 billion in fuel to 2050.

“We’ve seen renewable generation increase by 25% in the National Electricity Market since we came to office – and our Reliable Renewables plan continues to drive down emissions across the economy,” Minister Bowen said.

“The Albanese Government’s energy plan is the only one supported by experts to deliver the clean, cheap, reliable and resilient energy system that Australians deserve.

“Our plan is delivering effective policies focussed on cost-of-living, like cleaner, cheaper to run cars with New Vehicle Efficiency Standards – not relying on a global pandemic and drought for emissions reduction.”

With the Government’s existing policy suite – official government emissions projections released with our Annual Climate Change Statement show Australia is roughly on track for 42% emissions reduction by 2030 and that our emissions are projected to be 1% below the 2021 to 2030 emissions budget (over-achievement on overall budget terms).

The Quarterly Update of Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory: December 2023 can be found here: National Greenhouse Gas Inventory Quarterly Update: December 2023

Australia’s 2023 emissions projections can be found here: Australia’s emissions projections 2023