Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate the ABS website
ABS Home > Statistics > By Release Date
ABS @ Facebook ABS @ Twitter ABS RSS ABS Email notification service
4613.0 - Australia's Environment: Issues and Trends, 2006  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 10/11/2006   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product  
Contents >> Atmosphere trends >> Greenhouse gases

GREENHOUSE GASES

NET GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS


Australia's net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across all sectors totalled 564.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2-e) in 2004 under the accounting provisions of Australia's 108% emissions target. Emissions in 2004 were 2.3% above 1990 levels.

The largest sector increase in GHG emissions over the 1990 to 2004 period, of 43.0% (84.2 Mt CO2-e), occurred in the stationary energy sector, driven in part by increasing population and household incomes and export increases from the resource sector. Transport is the next largest growth sector with an increase of 23.4% (14.5 Mt CO2-e). The main driver for the increase in transport emissions is the continuing growth in household incomes and number of vehicles.

Offsetting growth in the energy and transport sectors has been a strong decline in net emissions from the ‘land use, land use change and forestry’ sector and, in particular, reductions in clearing of forest cover.

NET GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS
Graph: Net greenhouse gas emissions
Note: Kyoto-based estimates, expressed in million of tonnes (Mt) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e). Carbon dioxide
equivalent, CO2-e, provides the basis for comparing the warming effect of different greenhouse gases.
Source: Australian Greenhouse Office, National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, 2004.


NET GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS, Percentage change

Emissions Mt
CO
2-e (a)
Emissions Mt
CO
2-e (a)
Per cent change in emissions
1990
2004
1990 to 2004

Energy
    Stationary energy
195.7
279.9
43.0
    Transport
61.7
76.2
23.4
    Fugitive emissions
30.0
31.0
3.4
    Total
287.5
387.2
34.7
Industrial processes
25.3
29.8
18.0
Agriculture
91.1
93.1
2.2
Land use, land use change and forestry
128.9
35.5
-72.5
Waste
19.2
19.1
-0.7
Australia’s net emissions
551.9
564.7
2.3

(a) Carbon dioxide equivalent, CO2-e, provides the basis for comparing the warming effect of different greenhouse gases.
Source: Australian Greenhouse Office, National Greenhouse Gas Inventory 2004.

GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS BY SECTOR


Carbon dioxide is the most important of the greenhouse gases in Australia's inventory with a share of 73.5% (415.0 Mt) of the total CO2-e emissions, followed by methane which comprises 21.2% (119.7 Mt CO2-e). The remaining gases make up 5.3% (30.0 Mt CO2-e) of Australia's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The energy sector is the main contributor to carbon dioxide emissions at 86.1% (357.4 Mt). Agriculture is the main contributor of methane (60.1%, 3.4 Mt) and nitrous oxide (86.1%, 0.069 Mt) emissions.

The combined energy sectors were the largest source of GHG emissions comprising 68.6% (387.2 Mt CO2-e) of emissions. This proportion is less than in many countries due to the relatively large contribution from the agriculture (16.5%) and ‘land use, land use change and forestry’ sectors (6.3%) to Australia's inventory.

Other relatively minor sources include emissions from industrial processes (5.3%), such as the manufacture of mineral products, and emissions from waste disposal (3.4%).

GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS BY SECTOR
Graph: Greenhouse gas emissions by sector
Source: Australian Greenhouse Office, National Greenhouse Gas Inventory 2004.


NET GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS BY SECTOR, 2004

CO2
CH4
N2O
CO2-e

Sector and subsector
Mt
Mt
Mt
Mt
All energy (combustion and fugitive)
357.4
1.31
0.01
387.2
Stationary energy
277.6
0.1
0.003
279.9
Transport
74.3
0.03
0.00
76.2
Fugitive emissions from fuel
5.5
1.2
0.0001
31.0
Industrial processes
24.4
0.003
0.0001
29.8(b)
Solvent and other product use(a)
NA
NA
IE
IE
Agriculture
NA
3.4
0.069
93.1
Land use, land use change and forestry
33.2
0.1
0.002
35.5
Waste
0.0
0.9
0.002
19.1
Total net emissions
415.0
5.7
0.080
564.7

(a) Emissions are included in ‘Industrial processes’ for reasons of confidentiality.
(b) HFCs, PFCs and SF6 are not separately reported here but are included in the CO2-e totals.
NA=not applicable, IE=included elsewhere
Source: Australian Greenhouse Office, National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, 2004.

CARBON DIOXIDE EQUIVALENT (CO2-E) EMISSIONS


The greenhouse gas emissions intensity of the Australian economy, expressed as emissions per dollar of GDP, has declined from 1990 to 2004 by 33% from 1.1 to 0.7 kilograms (kg) CO2-e. This trend reflects:
  • emissions management across sectors
  • the large decline in ‘land use, land use change and forestry’ emissions
  • structural changes in the economy with the stronger growth in the services sector than in the more energy intensive manufacturing sector.

Australia has reduced its emissions per capita over the period 1990 to 2003 by 13% from 32.1 to 27.8 tonnes CO2-e. Australia's per capita emission level reflects a number of factors:
  • the dominance of the use of coal as a fuel in the electricity industry as there is no nuclear power produced and hydro-electric power options are limited
  • the presence of net emissions from the ‘land use, land use change and forestry’ sector
  • the impact of international trade patterns which result in the production in Australia of many goods with high associated emission levels – that is, resource and agricultural products – that are destined for export and consumption in other countries.

CARBON DIOXIDE EQUIVALENT (CO2 -e) EMISSIONS, NET, per capita and per $GDP
Graph: Carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e) emissions, net, per capita and per $GDP
(a) GDP is a chain volume measure. In accordance with Kyoto Protocol base year = 1990.
Source: Australian Greenhouse Office, National Greenhouse Inventory 2004.

CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSION INTENSITY, SELECTED OECD COUNTRIES, 2003


Australia is a small overall contributor to global greenhouse gases, accounting for around 1.4% of global emissions. However, emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) per person, are relatively high compared with other OECD countries. In 2003, about 17.35 tonnes of CO2 were emitted per person in Australia, compared with an OECD country average of 11.08 tonnes of CO2 per person.

International Energy Agency data shows the emissions intensity of the Australian economy was relatively high (0.81 kg CO2 per dollar of GDP) in 2003 compared with the OECD average of 0.48 kg CO2 per dollar of GDP). However, Australia's emissions intensity has declined by 35% over the period 1990 to 2004 from 1.1 to 0.7 kg CO2 per dollar of GDP.

CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSION INTENSITY, SELECTED OECD COUNTRIES, 2003
Graph: Carbon dioxide emission intensity, selected OECD countries, 2003
Note: Kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions per dollar of GDP (2000$).
Source: International Energy Agency 2005.

CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS PER PERSON, selected OECD countries, 2003
Graph: Carbon dioxide emissions per person, selected OECD countries, 2003
Note: Carbon dioxide emissions per person.
Source: International Energy Agency 2005.
TRANSPORT MODE, ESTIMATED GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS, MT CO2 EQUIVALENT


In 2004, transport contributed 76.2 Mt CO2-e (megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) or 13.5% of Australia’s net emissions. Transport emissions are one of the largest sources of emissions growth in Australia. Emissions from this sector were 23% higher in 2004 than in 1990, and have increased by about 1.5% annually. The strongest period of growth in transport emissions occurred in the early 1990s and since that time the longer term growth rate appears to have slowed.

Road transport was the main source of transport emissions in 2004 (89%) and accounted for 12.1% of national emissions. Emissions from road transport increased by 25% (13.5 Mt) between 1990 and 2004.

Passenger cars were the largest transport source contributing 41.7 Mt. Emissions from passenger cars increased by 18% between 1990 and 2004. The growth in emissions from passenger cars reflects growth in activity but also the influence of technological change, as the proportion of vehicles fitted with three way catalytic converters has increased in the overall passenger car fleet (catalytic converters, introduced for local air pollution control, reduce all NOx emissions but raise nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions compared with other technologies). Emissions from Light Commercial Vehicles and trucks have also grown strongly.

Other transport sources are far smaller contributors. Domestic aviation contributed 6% of transport emissions, domestic shipping 2%, and railways 2%. Domestic air transport emissions were 65% higher than the 1990 level. Emissions have grown strongly in this sector, particularly in the early 1990s, although emissions in the 1990 base year were unusually low because of extensive airline disruptions in that year and this has contributed to the magnitude of the change. By contrast, emissions from rail and shipping have fallen, reflecting improved productivity and changes in activity.

TRANSPORT MODE, ESTIMATED GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS, Mt CO2 equivalent

2000
2001
2002
2003
2004

Road
68.8
68.2
69.9
71.9
68.1
Rail
1.6
1.8
1.8
1.5
1.7
Civil aviation
4.4
5.5
5.8
5.3
4.8
Domestic navigation
1.5
1.6
1.6
1.1
1.6
All domestic transport (a)
76.3
77.2
79.2
79.8
76.2
International bunkers
Aviation
7.7
8.2
8.6
6.7
6.0
Marine
2.6
2.6
2.6
2.2
2.8

Note: Components may not sum to totals due to rounding, (a) Does not include ‘other transport’.
Source: Australian Transport Statistics, National Greenhouse Gas Inventory 2004.





Previous PageNext Page

Bookmark and Share. Opens in a new window


Commonwealth of Australia 2014

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.