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As mentioned in Environment, fossil fuel combustion is the major contributor to Australia's greenhouse gas emissions. Table 15.25 shows that the electricity supply industry accounts for nearly half of total energy-related emissions, and that emissions in this industry grew by 25% between 1992-93 and 1997-98. Direct emissions by households contributed around 13% in 1997-98, with most of these emissions due to motor vehicle use. Other significant direct emitters of greenhouse gases included manufacturing of iron and steel; mining; manufacturing of basic non-ferrous metals and products; air and space transport; and road transport (excluding household motor vehicle use). Combined emissions from this group of industries accounted for nearly 20% of energy-related emissions in 1997-98.
While table 15.25 presents the direct generation of greenhouse gases by the energy-using industry group or sector, graph 15.26 shows that, in 1996-97, the bulk of Australia's energy-related greenhouse gases were emitted in the production and consumption of goods and services for the purpose of household final consumption (about 56%). A further 25% of energy-related emissions were generated in the production of goods and services for export. Other final use categories (general government final consumption, and gross fixed capital formation) were responsible for the remaining emissions.
Graphs 15.27-15.29 show the contributions that the production or consumption of various goods and services make towards Australia's greenhouse gas emissions. The consumption of electricity by households indirectly produced the greatest amount of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions (17%). This was followed by direct emissions by households (14%), most of which is due to the consumption of motor vehicle fuels (graph 15.27). The most significant contributor to energy-related greenhouse gas emissions resulting from production of goods and services for export is basic non-ferrous metals and products (6% of total energy-related greenhouse gases) (graph 15.28). A significant proportion of emissions is also attributed to buildings and other construction, such as roads, irrigation systems, oil refineries, and water and gas supply systems, that contain high levels of embodied energy (about 7% of total greenhouse gas emissions) (graph 15.29).