‘Disappointing new heights’: Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions rise yet again

The Australian Government is failing to combat rising greenhouse gas emissions and intensifying climate change, after the latest release of quarterly emissions data overnight.

The new release of data shows Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions rose again by 1.4 per cent in 2016.

Climate Councillor and climate scientist Professor Will Steffen said Australia’s rising emissions should serve as an embarrassment to the Federal Government as global emissions flatline while global economies continue to grow.

“This is clear evidence that Australia is failing to tackle climate change compared to superpowers like the United States, whose emissions fell last year, and China, which has peaked its emissions more than a decade earlier than it promised in Paris," he said.

"In contrast, Australia’s lack of an effective climate and energy policy has now led to even higher emission levels while the big global emitters begin to reduce carbon pollution."

“We’ve already seen the Great Barrier Reef suffer back-to-back years of the worst coral bleaching in history while the Federal and Queensland Governments push ahead with plans for the biggest coal mine in Australia, which will only lead to higher global emissions and raise the risk of further bleaching of the Reef.”

“In fact, Australia’s climate report card shows we haven’t seen any decrease in emissions since the March 2015 quarter, which was 8 updates ago. It’s clear that this isn’t just a once off - this trend is now reaching disappointing new heights.”

Professor Steffen said the Federal Government must turn its attention to urgently tackling climate change, at a time when the Climate Change Authority is rudderless without a climate scientist, and at a time when the latest (March 2017) quarterly emissions remain hidden from the public.

For more information please contact Climate Council Media Advisor Alexia Boland on 0430 511 068 or via [email protected]