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Emissions fall 2.1 per cent in 2020-21 financial year

Emissions

The Australian Government has released the June 2021 quarterly update of Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory.

The update showed the important role of natural gas in supplying cleaner electricity, reducing greenhouse emissions further and helping Australia meet its target of net zero by 2050.

Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions fell by 2.1 per cent in the year to June 2021, and have fallen by 20.4 per cent since 2005, as the electricity market relies less on coal.

Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) said this is a trend that will continue as gas and clean hydrogen combine with an increase in other renewables to ensure a cleaner energy future.

APPEA added that a substantial fall in fugitive emissions was also a driving force behind the drop in overall greenhouse emissions, led by a decline in coal production and a fall in gas flaring, two trends that are expected to continue.

Chief executive of APPEA Andrew McConville said there will be further reductions in greenhouse emissions in Australia and around the globe as coal production is replaced by gas and renewable energies to produce cleaner and reliable energy.

“As the world continues to move away from coal and switches to low emissions energies, gas will play a pivotal role in providing the cleaner energy future that we all want,” he said.

McConville said that natural gas produces half as much carbon dioxide when burned than coal does and yet produces the same amount of energy without the harmful side effects.

“By using more natural gas to generate power we can reduce emissions and meet the increasing demand for energy,” he added.

Natural gas can also lead to a large-scale clean hydrogen industry, according to the chief executive.

“Hydrogen can help lower emissions both in Australia and around the world, while it also lowers energy costs, delivers energy security, creates jobs and manufacturing opportunities,” said McConville.

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