There was growth in the generation of wind and solar energy in Australia in 2020 while the country’s carbon emissions dropped during the year by 2020, the government of the country said on Monday. According to analysts this was primarily because of a complete hit to transportation in the country because of the Copvid-19 pandemic induced lockdowns. This drop was also facilitated by a rise in carbon capture at the huge Gorgon LNG project,
Australia’s Department of Industry said in a quarterly update on Monday that there was a drop of 26 million tonnes to 499 million tonnes in emissions of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e) in 2020 compared to what the country had touched a year earlier.
With this reduction the total reduction of the emissions of the country was 20 per cent lower than the emissions in the country in 2005 in comparison of its target under the Paris Agreement to cut emissions by 26% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2030 to help curb global warming.
“We are on track to meet and beat our 2030 Paris target,” Australian Energy Minister Angus Taylor said in a statement.
Australia has however not agreed to set for itself a more ambitious target for 2030 – in contrast to some of the richer peers such as the United States and Japan, even though the per capita emission by the country is country is the highest among the richer countries of the world.
“Other countries are stepping up, but we are nowhere to be seen,” said Climate Council researcher Tim Baxter.
A$600 million was provided for a new gas-fired power station by the conservative government of the country this month which essentially added to the future emissions of the country. Critics of the project have said that money was not needed for project.
Accounting for one-third of all the emissions in the country, the biggest polluter during 2020 was the power generating sector of Australia even though this sector recorded a drop of 4.9 per cent in emissions because of a conscious decline in coal-fired and gas-fired electricity generation.
There was also a notable 12 per cent drop in emissions from the transport sector of the country – the third largest polluter, because of the Covid-19 induced lockdown which forced people to remain indoors and use of cars was were very limited. Air travel was also virtually stopped for a major part of the year.
The government said that with the coming online of a long-delayed carbon capture and storage project at the Gorgon LNG plant, there was also a drop in emissions from the powered generated by liquefied natural gas (LNG) at plants which had grown over the previous four years with the start-up of new LNG plants.
(Adapted from TheStraitsTimes.com)