Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions have jumped for a second consecutive year, despite global emissions flat lining, according to the Federal Government’s latest figures.
The Climate Council’s Professor Will Steffen said he wasn’t surprised Australia’s emissions had risen by 0.8%, with the government refusing to consider the most economic, efficient policy options available to reduce emissions.
“This is clear evidence that Australia’s climate policy isn’t working, it’s failing. In 2016 alone, we’ve seen the Great Barrier Reef suffer its worst bleaching event in history, among super charged storms and extreme bushfires,” he said.
Professor Steffen said the electricity sector had significantly contributed to the rise, driven by Australia’s old, ageing and inefficient coal fleet.
“The benchmark for good climate policy is to see a drop in emissions, not a jump. This update shows that our electricity emissions for 2016 are also up by 1.2%, another increase compared to the previous year. “
“Now, 2017 is the opportunity to take stock and review this situation. Our government needs to admit that what we are doing is not working.”
Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie said there is no denying the numbers. Australia is falling short.
“Here we see clear evidence that pollution is on the rise and now is the time for us to transition to a clean and renewable energy sector, instead of dropping plans for an Emissions Intensity Scheme,” she said.
“A year ago in Paris we agreed with the rest of the world to do everything we could to keep global temperatures below 2 degrees. It’s time to live up to what we promised in Paris.”
The release comes after months of pressure for the Federal Government to reveal Australia’s quarterly emissions data.
“Waiting a year to release this information during the Christmas rush won’t matter as the world is watching and waiting for action”.
For more information or to arrange an interview please contact Climate Council Media Advisor Alexia Boland on 0430 511 068 and at [email protected]
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