Emissions fell from 26 million tonnes to 499 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e) in 2020 from the previous year, the Industry Ministry said in a quarterly update.
This put the country’s emissions 20% below 2005 levels, compared to its Paris Agreement target of reducing emissions from 26% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2030 to help reduce global warming.
“We are on track to meet and exceed our Paris 2030 target,” Australian Energy Minister Angus Taylor said in a statement.
However, Australia, the top emitter per capita among the richest countries in the world, has refused to set a more ambitious target for 2030, unlike countries like the United States and Japan.
“Other countries are mobilizing, but we are nowhere,” said Tim Baxter, researcher at the Climate Council.
In addition to future emissions, the Conservative government this month provided A $ 600 million for a new gas-fired power plant, which critics say is unnecessary.
Australia’s electricity sector remained the biggest polluter, accounting for a third of emissions, even with a 4.9% drop in emissions due to lower coal and gas production.
Emissions from the transportation sector, the third biggest polluter, fell 12%, with COVID-19 lockdowns preventing cars from moving and planes on the ground.
Emissions from liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants, which had increased over the previous four years with the start of new LNG plants, fell due to the start of a carbon capture and storage project long delayed at the Gorgon LNG plant, the government said. .