GLOBAL emissions have flatlined for the second year in a row as Australia’s emissions continue to climb.
Figures from the International Energy Agency reveal emissions plateaued again in 2015 while economic output continues to grow.
Renewable energy is powering the decoupling of greenhouse gas emissions from economy growth.
Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie said Australia’s emissions grew last year, in contrast to the progress being made globally.
“Post-Paris, the world is getting on with the job of rapidly reducing fossil fuel emissions. We are now reaping the rewards of countries like the US, Germany and China who working hard to tackle climate change but we’d be making even greater progress if countries like Australia started doing their fair share,” she said.
“The US has declared a moratorium on new coal mines on federal land and the electricity industry’s use of coal fell to record lows in 2015 as renewable energy boomed. This driving pollution down. US Emissions from the electricity sector fell 18% on 2005 levels as emissions from Australia’s electricity sector grew 3 per cent.
“China has pledged to shut 1000 coal mines this year and modeling shows their emissions may have already peaked- well ahead of schedule.
“But in the absence of any substantive policy announcements since the Paris pledge, Australia’s emissions are continuing to grow, especially in the electricity sector.
“It is clear what needs to be done. We need a plan to close our ageing and inefficient coal-fired power stations, which are some of the most polluting in the world, to make way for renewable energy.
“Without policies to facilitate this transition, Australians will not be protected from worsening extreme weather events and we will not be positioned to seize the economic opportunities of the global switch to clean energy.”
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