Measuring ACT Emissions


Government reports the Territory's greenhouse gas emissions in the greenhouse gas emissions inventory. The latest report is the ACT GHG Emissions Inventory Report 2017–18.

The table below shows the change in ACT emissions from 1989 to 2017-18 and the ACT's 2020 emissions reduction target.

Table: Summary of ACT emissions over time and 2020 target (kilotonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent)

1989-902013-142014-152015-162016-172017-182018-192019-20 2020 Target
3197 3935 4063 4102 3928 3368 Unavailable Unavailable 1918

ACT emissions are decreasing

The estimate of total greenhouse gas emissions for the ACT in 2017-18 was 3368 kt CO2-e, 14% lower than in 2016-17.

In 2017-18 the ACT emitted 8.09 tonnes of CO2-e per person, a reduction from 9.64 tonnes CO2-e per person in 2016-17.

The ACT has succeeded in reaching its target of peaking per capital greenhouse gas emissions by 2013.

Current and projected emissions by sector

In 2017-18, electricity accounted for 44% of ACT emissions, followed by transport (34%), natural gas (11%), industrial processes (8%) and waste (2%).

In 2020, once the ACT's electricity supply is 100% renewable most greenhouse gas emissions will be from transport (62%) and gas (22%).

Figure: Current and projected emissions by sector
Two charts showing the proportion of emissions by sector in 2017-18 and the projected proportion of emissions by sector in 2020.  2017-18 emissions consisted of 44 per cent from electricity, 12 per cent from stationary gas, 34 per cent transport, 8 per cent from industrial processes, and 2 per cent from waste. 2020 emissions are projected to consist of 22 per cent from stationary gas, 62 per cent from transport, 11 per cent from industrial processes, 4 per cent from waste, and 1 per cent from agriculture and land use.

Emissions from electricity

The ACT's target of 100% renewable electricity by 2020 will reduce emissions from electricity to zero from 2020 onwards. Although we have four solar farms within the ACT, most of the ACT's renewable electricity is generated outside the Territory under the innovative reverse auction, feed-in tariff program.

Because national greenhouse gas emissions factors for electricity (the amount of emissions produced in generating the electricity) are based on where the electricity generation takes place, the National Greenhouse Accounts Factor for New South Wales and ACT grid electricity, as published in the Australian National Greenhouse Accounts, does not reflect our renewable electricity success.

To address this, the ACT Government commissioned an Emissions factor projection report in 2017 to ensure our transition to renewable electricity is accurately reflected in reporting of emissions from electricity consumption. Canberrans can therefore see the emissions reductions associated with the renewable electricity they are supporting.

More information

Acknowledgement of Country

We wish to acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people. We wish to acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.