Australia beats 2020 greenhouse gas target by 459 million tonnes

Australia’s overachievement on its 2020 target is due in large part to significant structural declines in emissions from the electricity and agriculture sectors.

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The Quarterly Update of Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory: June 2020 confirms Australia has beaten its 2020 target (target period 2013-20) by 459 million tonnes, including overachievement from the previous period (2008-12). This is an increase on the previous estimate of 411 million tonnes published in December 2019.

In 2019-20, emissions in the National Electricity Market (Australia’s largest electricity grid) fell 5.3 per cent, to a new record low. Australia has invested $30 billion in renewable energy since 2017 and continues to deploy new solar and wind 10 times faster than the global average. Recent advice from the Clean Energy Regulator is that this trend is expected to continue in coming years.

In the year to June 2020, emissions were 513.4 million tonnes, 3.0 per cent or 16 million tonnes lower than in 2018-19. This is the lowest level since 1998.

Emissions are now 25 per cent lower than forecast when the Coalition came into government in 2013.

Australia’s emissions are 16.6 per cent below the level of emissions in 2005 (the baseline year for the Paris Agreement).

The Government is taking real and meaningful action to reduce emissions, including through the $1.9 billion new energy technologies investment package to support investment in new and emerging low-emissions technologies.

The Quarterly Update of Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory: June 2020 can be found here.

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