Australia reaches worst recorded greenhouse gas levels

Due to an influential energy sector and climate denialism in politics, Australia has been unable to effectivley reduce it's embarassing levels of greenhouse gas emissions.

greenhouse gas emissions Australia
Despite efforts to reach targets set out in the Paris Agreement, Australia has reached its highest recorded levels of greenhouse gas output. Photo: Zapravka2, Pixabay

The latest NDEVR environmental report highlights that Australia is currently responsible for generating more greenhouse gas emissions than ever before. This analysis does not account for unreliable factors like land-use related emissions.

Over the course of 2017 Australia has emitted at estimate of 138,78 metric tons of greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide. These results over the last quarter showed the second highest rise in emissions since 2011 despite Australia’s heavy investment in renewable energy solutions such as wind power.

The Federal Government is approximately 6 months behind schedule on delivering its self-reflecting report that determines how many greenhouse gases Australia is responsible for sending into the Earth’s atmosphere.

The NDEVER paper has tried to replicate the methodology used to determine Australia’s impact. The damning results reveal that Australia has failed to make significant progress in reaching the targets set out in the 2016 Paris Agreement and even less progress in reaching the targets suggested by environmental scientists.

Over the last 2 years the Australian government has slowly released reports in a quiet manner in the days leading up to Christmas. This has occurred even though the data in the reports is usually finalised months before Christmas.

This fact has suggested the Australian government is deliberately obfuscating and delaying the release of this information to avoid international embarrassment. The exclusion of land-use data from the report on greenhouse emissions means that piecemeal activities like planting trees or not clearing land have not influenced the final verdict.

The founder of NDEVR Matt Drum has said that if the government does not “foster renewable energy” then the problem will only continue to worsen.

A highly cited reason for this poor performance in greenhouse gas reductions is the Australian Senate’s move to repeal the carbon tax back in 2014. This move was heavily driven by the business supporting Liberal-National coalition.

With this new information, Australia remains in its spot as one of the world’s worst greenhouse gas polluters per capita. This is among countries in the same economic class as Australia such as the United States and the United Kingdom.

Australia’s domestic politics is commonly associated with a strong trend of climate denialism that has been mirrored in the United States. This denialism takes the form of current administrations declaring they are sceptical of the alarming research regarding global warming and its future environmental impact.

Australia is known to have an extensive and powerful energy industry that is highly resistant to measures aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  Measures such as the carbon tax were designed to apply gradual financial pressure on big polluters to encourage them to convert their production lines to be more environmentally friendly.