Emissions fall 0.8% in year to September 2021 even as economy grew 3.9%

The Australian Government has released the September 2021 Quarterly Update of Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory.

In the year to the end of September 2021, emissions were 501.5 million tonnes (Mt) – 0.8 per cent or 4 Mt lower than the same period in 2020.

Over the same period, Australia's economy grew 3.9 per cent. 

Australia’s emissions are lower than they were at any time under the previous Labor government and more than 130 million tonnes lower than where Labor forecast they would be with a carbon tax.

Australia’s emissions are 19.8 per cent below June 2005 levels – the baseline year for our 2030 Paris Agreement target.   

Our latest projections show we are on track to meet and beat our 2030 Paris target by up to 9 percentage points.

In the year to September 2021, 18.8 million tonnes of abatement was credited under the Emissions Reduction Fund. The ERF has 1,100 projects and has delivered more than 106 million tonnes of abatement.

Emissions from electricity generation have now fallen for five consecutive years in a row, continuing their long-term, structural decline in the year to September 2021. 

In the National Electricity Market, Australia’s largest electricity grid, emissions have fallen on average by more than 4 per cent per year for the last five years in a row.

This continuing decline in electricity sector emissions is driven by world leading rates of renewables deployment. Since 2017, more than $40 billion has been invested in renewables in Australia.

Per capita emissions are at their lowest levels in three decades and are forecast to fall further by 2030.

The production of exports for overseas markets generated 40 per cent of Australia’s total emissions in the year to September. The value of Australia’s overseas exports has increased by around $83 billion or 23 per cent in real terms since 2013.

When emissions associated with the production of exports are excluded, domestic emissions are 38 per cent below 2005 levels.

The Government is backing new and emerging technologies that will support jobs, strengthen the economy and reduce emissions, without compromising the affordable, reliable power that Australian households and businesses rely on.

The Government’s Long-Term Emissions Reduction Plan outlines how Australia is working to reduce the cost of low emissions technologies to reduce emissions without imposing new costs on households, businesses or the broader economy.

The Quarterly Update of Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory: September 2021 can be found here: http://industry.gov.au/NGGIquarterly 


Note 1: Australia’s emissions projections 2012 forecast Australia’s emissions would be 637 million tonnes in 2020 with a carbon tax (excluding international trading). The 2012 projections were the last official forecast prepared by the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency before Labor left government in September 2013. 

Media contact:

Minister Taylor's office 02 6277 7120