Global carbon emissions to slump – but Australia's electricity grid flatlines

(The Guardian, 11 May 2020) Analysis finds reduced economic activity in Australia over five weeks likely to have cut emissions from power generation by only 1%.

Global greenhouse gas emissions are expected to slump this year after countries and industries shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but Australia’s electricity grid appears immune.

An analysis found the reduced economic activity over a five-week period was likely to have cut emissions from the country’s coal-dominated power generation by only about 1% compared with previous years.

Total electricity consumption between 16 March and 21 April was 2.4% lower than last year, but more than half of that drop was likely attributable to it being warmer in 2019 in that period, leading to people running power-hungry air-conditioners more often.

The report by Hugh Saddler, an energy analyst who writes a monthly national emissions audit for thinktank The Australia Institute, also underscores the pace at which renewable energy generation has increased.

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The Guardian, 11 May 2020: Global carbon emissions to slump – but Australia's electricity grid flatlines