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Australia Queensland share of Australia's total carbon emissions increases again

15:27  09 october  2019
15:27  09 october  2019 Source:   brisbanetimes.com.au

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Queensland is producing more of Australia ' s carbon emissions than it was in 2015, according to figures released by the federal Department of Environment and Queensland , which scientists predict will feel the nation's biggest impact from climate change, generated 30.3 per cent of Australia ' s total

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Queensland is producing more of Australia's carbon emissions than it was in 2015, according to figures released by the federal Department of Environment and Energy.

Queensland, which scientists predict will feel the nation's biggest impact from climate change, generated 30.3 per cent of Australia's total greenhouse-equivalent gases in 2017, according to the State and Territory Greenhouse Gas Inventories report released in June.

That was an increase from the 28.3 per cent share the state produced in 2015.

Tarong power station near Kingaroy.© Supplied Tarong power station near Kingaroy. It shows the biggest contributors to those carbon emissions are Queensland's energy sector and from its transport sector: cars, trucks, buses and aircraft.

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Global emissions increased from 2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide in 1900 to over 36 billion tonnes 115 years later. Carbon dioxide emissions associated with energy and industrial production can come from a range of fuel types. The contribution of each of these sources has changed significantly

Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U. S . Department of Energy, Oak Ridge Emissions of non-CO2 greenhouse gases have also increased significantly since 1900. Emissions and sinks related to changes in land use are not included in these estimates.

In 2017, Queensland produced 161.5 million tonnes of greenhouse-gas equivalent emissions, up from 158.1 million tonnes in 2015 but significantly down from the 2005 figure of 186.9 tonnes.

Queensland is Australia's highest greenhouse gas emitter, well above NSW and Victoria, according to the latest figures.

The increase prompted the Queensland Conservation Council to call for a stand-alone state government Office of Climate Change.

QCC director Louise Matthiesson said the increase in carbon emissions was "embarrassing for Queensland" because of the international interest in future of the Great Barrier Reef.

"We are all so proud of our Great Barrier Reef," Ms Matthiesson said.

"It is such a precious part of Queensland.

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Queensland share of Australia ' s total carbon emissions increases again . Queensland Conservation Council says the state should set up a stand-alone Office of Climate Change.

"We suffer from cyclones and increasing bushfires. The impacts of climate change are hitting Queensland very hard, yet we have so far failed to show any significant drop in emissions."

The office would not be part of a specific department but would have access across departments.

"Queensland has some worthwhile targets for reducing carbon emissions and increasing the use of renewable energy," she said.

"But we don't have a road map on how to meet those targets. What I mean is, we don't have a clear set of actions to get us to those targets."

Queensland has promised to reach zero net emissions by 2050, to reduce carbon emissions by 30 per cent (from 2005 levels) by 2030 and to have 50 per cent of energy produced from renewable sources.

About 9.5 per cent of Queensland's total energy is produced by renewables, according to RenewEconomy, which questions the pace of Queensland's transformation.

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The most recent data on Australia ' s carbon emissions comes from the latest quarterly update of Australia ' s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory Queensland is currently the second highest, having overtaken Victoria in 2005. This graph shows emissions over time against the gross state product

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Quensland Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said the 2019 National Greenhouse Gas report reflected the position in 2017.

“Since then, the Palaszczuk government has implemented a number of initiatives to tackle climate change," Ms Enoch said.

"They include including introducing strong vegetation management laws to end broadscale land clearing, expanding the carbon farming industry through the $500 million Land Restoration Fund (some projects are already under way under this fund) and since the beginning of 2017, bringing 2350 megawatts of large-scale renewable generation capacity on line.

"Another 250 megawatts of capacity is currently financially committed or under construction."

Ms Matthiesson was not critical of Ms Enoch. She said Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk needed to take a higher profile.

"Climate change needs to be a whole-of-government responsibility and the Premier is the one who needs to take primary responsibility for Queensland's fight against climate change," she said.

Ms Enoch said a previous Office of Climate Change had worked well under former Labor premier Anna Bligh.

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Australia ’ s emissions have been increasing since 2014 (excluding LULUCF), when the federal Australia ’ s Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) is a reverse auction mechanism that is supposed to reduce There is a high risk of reversal of stored carbon in land sector projects being emitted again

Queensland , state of northeastern Australia , occupying the wettest and most tropical part of the continent. The second largest of Australia ’ s states, it occupies nearly one-fourth of the continent. The capital is Brisbane, on the state’s southeastern coast.

"It helped to focus the government's efforts and drive progress and not let things fall behind as they at the moment," she said.

Ms Mathiesson said Queensland could not count on tighter land clearing alone to reduce its emissions and the electricity generation sector was the most nimble in which to make changes.

"We have the technology and we have plenty of examples from overseas of how to start phasing out old coal energy plants and we have seen dozens of new solar plants and wind farms rolled out across Queensland," she said.

"That transition has already started, but with some clear direction from government it could happen a lot quicker."

Ms Enoch said, as of last month, there were 29 solar or wind projects operating throughout Queensland worth $4.7 billion. They had generated 4215 construction jobs, she said.

“Queensland is forecast to reach 20 per cent renewable energy in 2020 and is well on track to meet its commitment to 50 per cent renewables by 2030," Ms Enoch said.

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