Greenhouse Gases in Australia.
In 2012 estimated wind energy generation saved Australia
7,386,400 tonnes of carbon dioxide. That is equivalent to the removal of
1,641,000 cars from our roads. As an additional environmental benefit,
no water is needed for wind farm operation. The National Greenhouse Gas Inventory is an important
tool in the development of Australia's climate change policy and is a
key means of appraising progress in implementing greenhouse response
measures. Australia's Inventory is compiled annually, reflecting
international and national commitments.
The problem the globe now faces is that human actions - particularly the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) and land clearing - are increasing the concentrations of the greenhouse gases, creating the prospect of significant global climate change.
Australia now emits more than 500 million tonnes of Greenhouse Gas Emissions per annum or 27.9 tonnes for each of its 19 million citizens which is the highest per capita rate in the world. With only 0.3% of the world’s population Australia accounts for 3.5% of the global greenhouse emissions from all industrialised countries world-wide.
The electricity industry is the main contributor to greenhouse gas emissions with approximately 89% of Australia's electricity supply currently derived from the burning of fossil fuels, especially coal (84%).
The need to reduce production of greenhouse emissions was formalised by the Kyoto Protocol agreement signed by Australia in 1997. Under that agreement, Australia managed to secure an 8% increase in its greenhouse gas emissions by 2008-2012 compared to 1990 levels, whilst most OECD countries agreed to a 5% reduction. Australia has already exceeded that target and now produces annual emissions at 16% higher than 1990 levels.