Australia's carbon emissions have 'peaked'

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, March 15, 2016
Adjust font size:

Australia's carbon emissions levels are on a downward trend and are not expected to exceed the record highs witnessed in 2005 ever again, Australia's environment minister said on Tuesday.

Speaking to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Tuesday, Greg Hunt explained that Australia's emissions "peaked" 11 years ago and said, despite a damaging report from NASA which showed February 2016 was the hottest seasonally adjusted month on record, Australia was ahead of the pack when it comes to climate change.

"I believe that we have reached what's sometimes known as peak emissions," Hunt told the ABC.

"Our emissions have fallen from the 2005 high point and my best estimate is that we are unlikely as a nation ever to surpass that again.

"We, in my best judgement, advice, information from the (Environment) department, reached peak emissions in 2005/06.

"We're 60 million tonnes below (2005 levels) and I think the course of history to come for Australia is that we will continue to be below that figure."

However, the minister's comments received a backlash on Tuesday, with independent analysts telling local media that Australia's emissions would continue to rise under lackadaisical coalition government leadership.

Hugh Grossman, executive director of Reputex, an independent environmental analysis group, rubbished the minister's claims, and said his company found Australia's emissions would continue to grow and that there was "no peak in sight."

"At a time when almost all developed economies have begun to cut their emissions, including China and the United States, Australia's national emissions are projected to remain on a growth pathway, with analysis indicating Australia is on track to exceed its historic 2005-06 high, with no peak in emissions expected to occur before 2030," Grossman told The Guardian.

Chief executive of the Climate Institute, John Connor, also talked down Hunt's comments, and said the latest government figures on climate change failed to take into account the effects of the coalition's latest climate policies.

"Australia's emissions have been rising for the past two years," Connor said, "There are big question marks over the future of the emissions reduction fund and we have no limits on coal-fired electricity generation."

"We can see no reason for the government to have any confidence at all that emissions have peaked and we can see no reason for any confidence that they will decline under the government's current policies."

Hunt's comments come a day after NASA revealed February was the hottest seasonally adjusted month since records were first kept in 1880, something Australia's chief scientist said was "completely unprecedented."

Dr Alan Finkel told the ABC on Monday night that the world was "losing the battle" against climate change, and said there was "genuine reason for concern."

"For all the effort we are putting into trying to avoid increases of emission, we are losing," Finkel said.

"What we are doing with solar, wind, changing practices, behavioral practices and things like that, we're not winning the battle."

Earlier this year, Hunt was named the "Best Minister in the World" at a summit in Dubai, for his "crucial" work in reducing greenhouse emissions.

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from