ACT greenhouse gas emissions

The ACT has an emissions reduction target of 40% below 1990 levels by 2020. This is one of the most ambitious targets in Australia and compares favourably with the targets of many cities internationally.

The most recent emissions data for the ACT is available in the 2015-16 Inventory Report

ACT per person emissions target reached

This latest inventory demonstrates that we met our first legislated emissions reduction target by 30 June 2013. This target relates to the amount of greenhouse gas emissions (known as CO2-e) we generated per person in the ACT.

The latest inventory continues to show this achievement. This target relates to the amount of greenhouse gas emissions (known as CO2-e) we generated per person in the ACT.

This year the ACT emitted 10.22 tonnes of CO2-e a reduction on 2014-15  (10.31 tonnes CO2-e per person); this was a slight increase on 2013-14 (10.02 tonnes CO2-e) but still beneath 2012-13 (10.45 tonnes CO2-e). At their peak in 2005–06, the ACT emitted 12.72 tonnes of  CO2-e per person.

ACT greenhouse gas emissions per person since 1989-90

Figure: ACT greenhouse gas emissions per person since 1989-90

ACT emissions trends

Between 2010–11 and 2014–15, ACT greenhouse gas emissions fell by 9.12% to 3,998 kilotonnes CO2-e. However, 2014-15 saw a 4.1% increase on 2013–14 emissions. The main reasons for this were the:

  • decline in the proportion of renewable electricity used in the ACT to 18.5% because of the repeal of the carbon price
  • a slight rise in the demand for electricity in the ACT.

This year, 2015-16, emissions remain below 2010-11 figures by 8.9%. Electricity emissions have fallen 1% compared to last year due to renewable electricity in the grid increasing from 18.8% to 21%.

ACT’s renewable energy production increased including an additional 38 Gigawatt hours from the Royalla Solar Farm (border NSW and ACT) and 19 Gigawatt hours from Coonooer Bridge Wind Farm(Vic). The ACT will be powered by 100% renewable energy by 2020.

The ACT Government monitors trends with greenhouse gas emissions. In 2015–16, greenhouse gas emissions were at 4016.6 kt, less than half a percent increase on 2014–15 emissions.

Total CO2 emissions

Figure: ACT greenhouse gas emissions per person since 1989-90

ACT distribution of trends

Electricity makes up 56% of ACT emissions, followed by transport (26%) and natural gas (10%). A small but important contribution is the waste sector, at 2%. The ACT is targeting actions towards these main sectors.

In 2020, its projected that transport will make up 54% of emissions, natural gas 18% and waste 5%. The ACT Government will focus on these three areas over the next few years and beyond 2020.

Total ditribution

Figure: Total ACT Greenhouse Gas Emissions since 1989-90 (including emissions from land use, land use change and forestry)

ACT distribution of emissions

Electricity makes up 55% of ACT emissions, followed by transport (27%) and natural gas (9%). A small but important contribution is the waste sector, at 3%. The ACT is targeting actions towards these main sectors.

In 2020, its projected that transport will make up 62% of emissions, natural gas 21% and waste 6%. The ACT Government will focus on these three areas over the next few years and beyond 2020.