Government reports increasing CO2 levels of Australia in 2015

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Smoke from bushfires covers Sydney Opera House
A sailing boat passes the Sydney Opera House as smoke from bushfires blankets the city November 2, 2013. Thick smoke from bushfires that continue to burn around the Sydney metropolitan region, blanketed the city, as more than 60 fires continue to burn in the state of New South Wales. Reuters/David Gray

The Australian government released a report on Christmas Eve showing the carbon emissions of the country that have increased by 0.8 percent in 2015 as compared to 2014 levels. The report was described by the Climate Council as quietly released for an attempt to bury the statistics.

The Quarterly Update of Australia’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory shows the country's emissions increased by 1.3 percent with emissions from land use and deforestation. The country produced 549.3 mega-tonnes of CO2 in 2014-15. 

In the recent Paris climate conference, the Australian government promised to cut emissions by 26-28 percent by 2030. However, the country is likely to face pressure due to the universal deal to keep the global temperature rise to 2°C, the Guardian reported.

“If we are serious about our doing our part in meeting the 1.5°C target, we urgently need a clear national plan for reducing emissions rapidly and transitioning to a low-carbon economy,” Climate Council’s Professor Will Steffen said in a statement. “Coal cannot be part of that plan.”

Steffen said despite the agreement made after the Paris climate talks to tackle climate change, the Australian government has approved another coal mine and plans to expand a coal port next to the Great Barrier Reef. He added the government “attempted to bury statistics" showing emissions continue to increase since the repeal of the carbon price.

The report indicates the increases in transport, fugitive emissions, industrial processes and product use, electricity and stationary energy. The electricity sector, the largest source of emissions, has increased emissions by 3 percent in 2014-15 compared to 2013-14, while power generation from black coal rose 1.4 percent and brown coal generation increased by 9.7 percent.

“These sort of actions are totally inconsistent with what the government pledged to do just two weeks ago when they joined the rest of the world in agreeing to do everything possible to stay below 1.5 degrees of warming,” Steffen said. “It’s obvious that we have been unsuccessful in tackling emissions at the source as electricity emissions continue to grow.”

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