Australian news, and some related international items

Drop in greenhouse gas emissions, as result of spike in renewable energy

Renewable energy spike led to sharp drop in emissions in Australia, study shows [excellent graphs]  Surge in October last year helped greenhouse gas emissions fall by 3.57m tonnes in December quarter, Guardian,   and , 10 Mar 17 A sharp drop in Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions at the end of last year came courtesy of a spike in renewable energy generation in a single month, according to a new study.

Australia’s emissions fell by 3.57m tonnes in the three months to December, putting them back on track to meet quarterly commitments made in Paris after a blowout the previous quarter.

The fall is the largest for the quarter since the government began recording emissions in 2001. The report’s authors said this was entirely due to record levels of hydro and wind generation in October. This brought emissions for the year to December to below the year to December 2015.

But projected emissions for the December quarter were still 6.89m tonnes over levels demanded by scientifically based targets set by the government’s Climate Change Authority.

And, long term, the results show Australia is set to run more than 300m tonnes over what is required to meet its Paris targets in 2030.

The analysis was produced by Ndevr Environmental, which analyses data for all Australia’s major emissions sources and compares the results with the government’s commitments made in Paris and the cuts recommended by the Climate Change Authority.

It aims to produce a more timely account than the government’s, which is six to nine months behind.

In the four years to December 2016, Australia emitted 20.7% of its share of what the world can emit between 2013 and 2050 if it intends to maintain a good chance of keeping warming to below 2C.

If Australia continues to emit carbon pollution at the average rate of the past year, it will spend its entire carbon budget by December 2031. Projected to the current second, the graphic shows how much of the carbon budget has been spent.

Matt Drum, the managing director of Ndevr Environmental, said the figures showed renewable energy was “the only thing that’s keeping us in the ballgame” of meeting climate commitments……..

Direct Action is the federal government’s primary carbon reduction tool, which pays polluters to pollute less through a reverse auction – the emissions reduction fund.

There is no evidence the emissions bought through that fund, now largely spent, reduce overall emissions and many of the emissions the government pays to avoid are unlikely to have occurred anyway


March 11, 2017 - Posted by | climate change - global warming, energy

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