ACT greenhouse gas emissions

The ACT has a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2020 and achieving net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest. These are some of the most ambitious targets in Australia and compare favourably with the targets of many cities and jurisdictions around the world.

The ACT reports annually on greenhouse gas emissions.

ACT per person emissions target reached

The ACT achieved our first legislated emissions reduction target of peaking per person emissions by 30 June 2013. This means that the amount of greenhouse gas emissions (in carbon dioxide equivalent, ‘CO2-e’) generated per person in the ACT has declined since 2013.

In 2015-16 the ACT emitted 10.27 tonnes of CO2-e per person. This was a further reduction from 2014-15 when emissions were 10.31 tonnes CO2-e per person. In 2005-06 ACT per person emissions peaked at 12.72 tonnes CO2-e per person.

ACT greenhouse gas emissions per person since 1989-90

Figure: ACT greenhouse gas emissions per person 1990 to 2016

ACT emissions trends

The baseline year for the ACT’s emission reduction targets is 1989-90, when emissions were 3197 kilotonnes CO2-e. In 2015-16 ACT emissions were 4039 kilotonnes CO2-e, 26% higher than 1989-90. However, emissions are set to decrease rapidly as we approach 2020 as the transition to a zero emissions renewable electricity supply accelerates.

Between 2010–11 and 2015–16, ACT greenhouse gas emissions fell by 9%. In 2015-16 electricity emissions fell by an additional 1% due to renewable electricity in the grid increasing from 19% to 21%.

In 2015-16 the ACT’s renewable electricity generation increased with an additional 38 gigawatt hours from the Royalla Solar Farm (located on the border of NSW and ACT) and 19 gigawatt hours from Coonooer Bridge Wind Farm (located in Victoria). In 2016-17 the percentage of ACT electricity from renewable sources

Total CO2 emissions

Figure: Total ACT greenhouse gas emissions from 1989-90 to 2015-16

Figure: Percentage of ACT electricity from renewable sources (actual 2010-11 to 2016-17, projected 2017-18 to 2020-21)

ACT emissions by sector

In 2015-16, electricity accounted for 55% of ACT emissions, followed by transport (27%), natural gas (9%), industrial processes (5%) and waste (3%). As the electricity supply will be 100% renewable (zero emissions) from 2020, the ACT is now focus on targeting emissions reductions in transport, natural gas and waste.

Total ditribution

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

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