Australian emissions rise as LNG production soars

(Climate Change News, 30 Aug 2019) Emissions from gas extraction cause carbon pollution to continue to rise, while agency issues warning about health of Great Barrier Reef.

Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions rose in the year through March largely due to increased liquefied natural gas output, the government said on Friday, adding that without LNG, the country’s emissions would have fallen.

Greenhouse gas emissions rose 0.6% to 538.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e) from the previous year, mainly due to a 19% rise in LNG exports and growth in steel and aluminium production, the government said in a quarterly greenhouse gas update.

LNG output added 4.7 million tonnes CO2-e, more than offsetting a 2.1% drop in emissions from the electricity sector, the biggest source of carbon emissions, as the growth of wind and solar power has reduced the use of dirty coal.

Emissions were 11.7% below their 2005 level, with about 11 years to go to meet Australia’s commitment under the Paris climate accord to slash emissions by at least 26% from 2005 levels by 2030 to help combat global warming.

Australia’s emergence as the world’s top LNG exporter has created a quandary for the conservative government, as methane and carbon emissions from gas and LNG production make it harder for the country to meet its greenhouse gas emission targets.

At the same time, Canberra has praised the benefits of the LNG export industry and its role in helping cut emissions in the countries that buy the LNG. The government claims the gas replaces dirtier coal-based energy in those countries.

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Climate Change News, 30 Aug 2019: Australian emissions rise as LNG production soars