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Recovery from Covid and Drought is likely to reverse recent Australian emission cuts | Environment

According to an audit of national climate data, most of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions reductions last year could be wiped out as transportation recovers after the Covid-19 blockade and agriculture recover from a long drought. There is.

Scott Morrison Told the National Press Club Earlier this month, the government was “working” to reduce emissions, citing official data showing that emissions had fallen by 3% in the year to June to the lowest level since 1998. He declared, “These are facts.”

An audit by Husadler, an energy consultant and an honorary associate professor at ANU’s Crawford School of Public Policy, suggests that at least some declines may disappear.

Greenhouse gas graph by sector

A monthly national energy emissions audit issued by the Australian Institute found that carbon pollution was reduced by about 4.5% in the two years to 2020. This is primarily due to the surge in solar and wind power, but the impact of the Covid-19 shutdown, especially on transportation, and the continued impact of long-term droughts has led to significant numbers of sheep and cattle. Has decreased to.

Audits have found that reductions in the latter two categories are unlikely to continue.

The end of the blockade and restrictions on domestic travel meant that road traffic and aviation emissions were likely to “return to their previous steadily increasing trend.”

Similarly, agricultural emissions could increase as the drought situation eased and herd numbers and crop production increased, in line with government projections. Nearly 80% of agricultural emissions come from livestock and crops.

Sadler emphasized that recent domestic emission cuts are primarily a result of the external environment, not climate policy. The Morrison government does not have a comprehensive policy to reduce emissions from transportation and agriculture.

He said the recent government’s “Future Fuels” discussion paper on reducing emissions from transportation provided “almost nothing” and the government had no plans to reduce agricultural emissions.Some Kuomintang members Insists that the sector should be excluded A stance that confronts agricultural groups seeking a net zero emission target for 2050 from their commitment to climate change.

“Power generation emissions will continue to decline, but in the absence of significant policy changes, reductions from this sector will be offset by a steady increase in transport emissions,” Sadler said.

“Total emissions from all sectors except power generation have remained almost unchanged since 2018.”

Audit is consistent with Official emission forecast announced in DecemberUnder current policies, it is estimated that national carbon pollution will decrease by less than 7% over the next decade.

The forecast report suggests that the Morrison government is not yet on track to meet Australia’s 2030 emission targets under the Paris Climate Conference (26% to 28% reduction to 2005 levels). .. Instead, the established policy leads to a 22% reduction in that time frame. More than half of that was achieved before the coalition was elected in 2013.

Morrison said the government wants Australia to reach net zero emissions as soon as possible, preferably by 2050, through a “technology, not tax” approach, but how that policy does. It does not explain whether it will be achieved.

Richie Merzian, director of climate and energy programs at the Australian Institute, said emissions from automobiles and agriculture are now about the same as emissions from the entire electricity sector.

“The federal government has a real opportunity to get the country on track to bring emissions to zero by 2050, which requires sector-level planning for transportation and agriculture,” he said. ..

The audit has examined changes in domestic electricity market emissions in the five eastern states and the Australian Capital Territory since 2008.

Changes in energy fuel type graph

During that time, wind and solar energy accounted for a larger share of the electricity supply, with a 26.5% decline due to the closure of coal-fired power plants and reduced operating capacity.

The surge in renewable energy investment is driven primarily by national renewable energy targets (achieved in 2019, not extended or exchanged), with state targets and the cost of solar and wind energy technologies. It was supported by rapid reductions. Renewable energy It currently supplies about 27% of its annual electricity, including rooftop solar power.

Despite the blockade of Covid-19, electricity usage fell by only 0.6% between February and November last year. However, the amount of electricity produced by burning coal fell by nearly 8% in both New South Wales and Queensland between late 2019 and late 2020.

Sadler spoke of the New South Wales Electricity Infrastructure Investment Act. Passed the state legislature in November Promising to undertake 12 gigawatts of new solar and wind and 2 GW of long-term storage will be an important step in managing the transition to variable renewable energies.

Recovery from Covid and Drought is likely to reverse recent Australian emission cuts | Environment Recovery from Covid and Drought is likely to reverse recent Australian emission cuts | Environment

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