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LNG industry adds to increase in Oz carbon emissions

Without the 18.8% increase in LNG exports government claims greenhouse emissions would have dropped

Australia’s booming liquefied natural gas industry was a key factor in the nation’s rise in greenhouse gas emissions for the year to March 2019.

The government revealed in a quarterly report on Friday that Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions over the 12-month period rose 0.6%, year-on-year, to 538.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e).

The report attributed the increase primarily to increasing liquefied natural gas exports, with the growth of the LNG industry impacting fugitive emissions due to flaring and the venting of methane and carbon dioxide.

LNG related emissions over the year increased by 4.7 million tonnes of CO2-e, with the government noting that without the increase in LNG exports, Australia’s emissions would have declined by 0.3%.

The government also noted that Australia’s estimated A$47.8 billion (US$32.8 billion) worth of LNG exports for the year to March had the potential to reduce global emissions by up to 152 million tonnes of CO2-e.

Also adding to Australia’s rise in carbon footprint were increased emissions from steel production and aluminium production.

Despite the rise, the government noted that the levels seen in the year to March were actually down 14% since the peak year to June 2007 and 11.7% below emissions in 2005, with Australia needing to cut emissions to 26% below 2005 levels by 2030 in order to meet its commitments under the Paris Climate Accord.

It also highlighted that the emissions intensity of the economy were at their lowest levels in 29 years, falling 62.4%, while emissions per capita have fallen 40.1% since 1990.

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