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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.
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
Source: Australian Greenhouse Office, National Greenhouse Gas Inventory 2004.
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:
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:
CARBON DIOXIDE EQUIVALENT (CO2 -e) EMISSIONS, NET, per capita and per $GDP
(a) GDP is a chain volume measure. In accordance with Kyoto Protocol base year = 1990.
Source: Australian Greenhouse Office, National Greenhouse Inventory 2004.
Australia is a small overall contributor to global greenhouse gases, accounting for around 1.4% of global emissions. However, emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) per person, are relatively high compared with other OECD countries. In 2003, about 17.35 tonnes of CO2 were emitted per person in Australia, compared with an OECD country average of 11.08 tonnes of CO2 per person.
International Energy Agency data shows the emissions intensity of the Australian economy was relatively high (0.81 kg CO2 per dollar of GDP) in 2003 compared with the OECD average of 0.48 kg CO2 per dollar of GDP). However, Australia's emissions intensity has declined by 35% over the period 1990 to 2004 from 1.1 to 0.7 kg CO2 per dollar of GDP.
CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSION INTENSITY, SELECTED OECD COUNTRIES, 2003
Note: Kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions per dollar of GDP (2000$).
Source: International Energy Agency 2005.
CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS PER PERSON, selected OECD countries, 2003
Note: Carbon dioxide emissions per person.
Source: International Energy Agency 2005.
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.