At the start of this month, the latest report from industry analysts Reputex indicated Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions were headed for a record high after 2020, and may not reach a peak before 2030 – despite the government’s claim it has been reducing emissions and its support for the Paris climate deal.
This week, a new report released by the federal government – a discussion paper on vehicle emissions, issued as part of a Ministerial Forum into reducing the environmental and health impacts of transport pollution – adds to the gloom.
It illustrates, via the graph below, just how tough Australia’s comparatively modest emissions abatement task will be; and how little the Coalition’s Emissions Reduction Fund will contribute to the overall effort.
On a more positive note, the paper strives to acknowledge the importance introducing tougher vehicle emissions standards in Australia – perhaps even policy support for the roll-out of electric vehicles – and driving a general clean-up of the transport sector as a whole which, as the next graph from Climate Works shows, could be the cheapest and most cost-effective abatement opportunity of all major emitting sectors.
And cheap, effective emissions abatement is just what the government needs, if it hopes to start bridging what RepuTex executive director Hugh Grossman described as the “substantial disconnect between our national abatement task and the emissions reality.”