Greenhouse gas emissions have risen to their highest level in seven years even as the Federal Government maintains it will reach its international commitments to slice them “in a canter”.
Figures from the Environment Department show emissions rose 1.3 per cent through the June quarter. The increase came despite a fall in the electricity sector’s emissions which have dropped of almost 3 per cent since the middle of last year.
The department said emissions were still 2.4 per cent lower than where they stood in 2000. However, since 2013 when the Rudd government lost office emissions are up almost 4 per cent.
The Government has said it would reach its Paris commitment of a reduction of 26-28 per cent in emissions “in a canter”.
The fall in emissions from the electricity sector is because of the closure of some brown coal power stations and an increase in renewable energy.
But this has not been enough to offset a 5 per cent spike in emissions from the non-electricity energy sector, with increases in the mining and LNG areas.
Transport emissions, which account for 19.1 per cent of all emissions, have increased 2.6 per cent on the greater use of diesel transport.
The report came as insurer Allianz, in an update on global efforts to curb greenhouse emissions, noted that in Australia there was a lack of political will to deal with the issue.
It said Australia is “heading towards a policy cliff-edge, meaning there will be no policy support for renewables after 2020”.
Shadow minister for climate change and energy Mark Butler said emissions would continue to climb to 2030 under the Government’s plans.
The figures were released yesterday as thousands of children skipped classes to attend rallies in almost 30 centres across the country to demand the Government act on climate change.