This morning Minister for Environment Greg Hunt claimed on ABC Radio that Australia had reached peak emissions.
Meanwhile, Australian climate experts are all:
So where does the claim come from?
The basis of Minister Hunt's claim is national accounts data showing a reduction in land emissions. But the true test of whether a country is effectively tackling climate change is whether or not fossil fuel emissions are going down rapidly.
And Australia's fossil fuel emissions continue to rise, jumping 3% in the 2014-15 year – unlike the European Union and the US, whose emissions have genuinely peaked.
On top of that, independent analysis by carbon consultancy Reputex found Australia's national greenhouse gas emissions are set to keep rising well beyond 2020 on current trends, with the projected growth rate one of the worst in the developed world:
So where does that leave us?
It's easy for politicians to use clever accounting tricks to mask climate policy failure. But in the meantime, the Earth is getting dangerously hot. February 2016 was Earth’s hottest February since records began in 1880:
In fact, it's very likely that February 2016 was more than 1.5°C warmer than pre-industrial levels, already breaching the Paris aspirational target.
Prof. Will Steffen said, “There is no time to waste. Every year that we don’t significantly reduce fossil fuel emissions matters. We cannot solve climate change through questionable carbon accounting that hides increases in fossil fuel emissions."
We need the truth to be heard over a loud and dangerous fiction. Can you make a donation to the Climate Council today to help fight the misinformation merchants?