New Annual Emissions Report Released Today Shows Australia’s Emissions Will Rise Steeply Without Effective Action

Canberra, Australia ( February 10, 2011

New Annual Emissions Report Released Today Shows Australia's Emissions Will Rise Steeply Without Effective Action

New Annual Emissions Report Released Today Shows Australia's Emissions Will Rise Steeply Without Effective Action

Annual emissions projections released today by the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Greg Combet, demonstrate that Australia’s emissions will rise steeply without decisive and effective new policy action.

The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency report, Australia’s Emissions Projections, takes a detailed account of more than 30 policies and measures to assess the contribution of existing policies to reducing Australia’s carbon pollution. It predicts that without further action, emissions will continue to rise.

The report takes into account the Renewable Energy Target and measures which are part of the National Strategy on Energy Efficiency. The report does not include the impact of a carbon price or the Carbon Farming Initiative.

“In 2020, emissions are projected to be 24 per cent above 2000 levels – that’s a further projected increase from current levels,” Mr Combet said.

“The Government is committed to cutting carbon pollution by at least 5 per cent below 2000 levels by 2020. That means we need to cut around 160 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2020 – that’s equal to reducing emissions from generating electricity by 75 per cent. This 160 million is on top of the 109 million tonnes of savings provided by existing measures. By 2030 we are projected to be 44 per cent above 2000 levels.

“Clearly more needs to be done, and that’s why we need a carbon price, soon.

“Without a carbon price underpinning long term investments in renewable energy, low emissions gas generation and energy efficiency, the report anticipates that new coal fired generators will continue to be built and there is a risk of falling short of the Government’s target of generating 20 per cent of our energy from renewable sources in 2020.

“While there is a warning in this report, it is important to remember that it is not too late for us to act,” Mr Combet said.

“We are tracking to be two per cent below our Kyoto target and a carbon price can work with appropriately targeted energy efficiency and renewable energy policies to drive the necessary transformation of our economy.”

The Government believes that a carbon price mechanism is essential as the primary driver of an economic transformation which will set Australia on the path towards a low carbon economy, and achieve real emissions reductions.

“What won’t work is the ongoing denial and obstruction of the Federal Opposition, led by Tony Abbott. It’s time for him to admit that his Direct Action policies would cost Australians more and are incapable of meeting our abatement challenge or transforming the economy,” Mr Combet said.

Download a copy of the Australia’s Emissions Projections.

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