Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions fell three per cent in the year to June due to the Covid-19 shutdown, the ongoing impact of drought and an influx of cheap solar and wind power, according to government figures.
The quarterly update on emissions released this week showed the pandemic had caused a sharp drop in transport emissions of 6.7 per cent over the year to June as there were fewer cars on roads, and passenger flights dropped to almost nil in the early months of this year.
The ongoing effects of drought caused a 3.7 per cent drop in agricultural emissions, with farms carrying less livestock and using less fertiliser.
Electricity emissions were down 4.3 per cent largely due to the construction of wind and solar plants commissioned to meet the national 2020 renewable energy target.
Despite the fall scientists claim there is still more work to do to tackle climate change.
Climate Council CEO, Amanda McKenzie, said leadership by states and territories on renewable energy contributed to the figures.
“Every state and territory in Australia has committed to a net zero emissions target and most have clean recovery plans to get their economies back on track, create new jobs and lower power bills,” McKenzie said.
“In contrast, the Morrison Government has no credible climate or renewable energy policy.
“The progress we are making belongs to the states and territories, which are showing real climate leadership. But we are still far from where climate science says we need to be - and that is costing Australia,” she said.
Meanwhile, the peak industry body for large emitters, the Carbon Market Institute, will host its 7th annual Australasian Emissions Reduction Summit this week from December 2-4, 2020.