Australia: Climate Progress Report

Australia: Climate Progress Report


  1. Greenhouse gas emissions by Australian Corporations (Annual)

The greenhouse gases emissions include release of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) and specified kinds of hydro fluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons. This indicator will be able to advise us on the progress of Australia’s goal in achieving 50% reduction. Australia currently has a National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007 (NGER Act) which is a single national framework for reporting and sharing cooperation’s data on greenhouse gas emissions, energy production, primary fuel source, emissions intensity, energy consumption. The Clean Energy Regulator Agency is responsible for publishing the National Greenhouse and Energy reporting datasets in February each year for the previous financial year.

The Clean Energy Regulator Agency has published on 28 February 2022 regarding 2020-2021 reporting year. In total of 2020-2021 reporting year, our baseline is 399 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalence. I will be using the data provided by The Clean Energy Regulator to measure the greenhouse gas emissions levels. More information regarding the data can be found here.

  1. Full Carbon Accounting Model (Quarterly)

The full carbon account model is a tool used to measure the levels of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions for the land use, land use change and forestry sectors. Forests, grasslands, croplands and other vegetation are beneficial in reducing carbon dioxide from the environment. I believe direct estimation methods like field sampling can be a potential useful indicator. However, considering Australia’s large land sector, the data can be unreliable as there are higher chances of human error to collect per hectare.

In comparison, full carbon accounting model provides data regarding carbon stock change and greenhouse gas emissions at fine spatial and temporal scales of land. This will allow us to compare land cover change, land use and management, climate, plant productivity, and soil carbon used over time. Results of the full carbon accounting model help in measuring annual totals for Australia’s National Inventory Reports. Emissions data which includes the land sector are found in the Australian Greenhouse Emissions Information System. Australian Greenhouse Emissions Information System allows me to choose the year, location, sector and types of gas e.g. Carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, Methane, Nitrous Oxide and many more.

It also provides AGEIS trend graph to show the levels of increase/decrease in greenhouse gases over the years. As per the latest data, Carbon Dioxide Equivalent is 25,063.52 Gg less than 2015. I will be accessing the data through Australian Greenhouse Emissions Information System portal. The portal can be accessed by this link. The Quarterly Update of the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory reports are also posted including Power BI Graphs. The latest March 2021 update can be accessed through this website. I will be comparing data from both the sources for accurate results regarding Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions due to land usage.

  1. Electricity generation by fossil fuels (Annual)

Fossil fuels contributed 76% of total electricity generation including coal (54%), gas (20%), and oil (2%). This is due to Australia’s use of  low- cost coal resources and increase of coal-fired plants across all stated and territories. Energy production is the largest contributor to Australia’s carbon emissions. This is followed by transport, agriculture, and industrial processes. Monitoring the electricity generation rate due to fossil fuels will help identify the increase of greenhouse gas emissions in Australia. It will also help us determine how reduction of fossil fuel usage can directly help in reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources produces data regarding Australian electricity generation due to fuel mix. This data includes the percentage of each fossil fuel contributing to emissions per year.

Specifically, The Australian Energy Statistics is responsible for monitoring the energy supply and usage to support the department in decision making process. This data is updated every year and provides detailed analysis of historical energy consumption, production, trade statistics and balances by state and territory. The latest Australian Energy Statistics 2021 Energy Update report suggests that Energy production rose to 20055 petajoules as a result of increased natural gas and oil production. Coal was 55% of total generation in 2019–20 and fell further to 54 per cent in calendar year 2020. I will be using the data source published by Australian Energy Statistics to maintain the credibility and accuracy of results. This can be accessed here.

Performance Indicator Baseline Value Date
Australian Corporations greenhouse gas emissions rate 399 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalence February 2022
Full Carbon Accounting Model 494.2 Mt carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e) February 2022
Electricity generation by fossil fuels 265 terawatt hours (955 petajoules) February 2022

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Australia Country Manager Riya Shukla


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