Why get worked up about our climate responsibilities when Australia’s contribution to global emissions – around 1.5% of the total – is small?
Australia is the world’s largest coal exporter. By adding emissions from exported coal to our domestic emissions, Australia’s carbon footprint trebles. Its coal exports alone currently contribute at least another 3.3% of global emissions. In aggregate, therefore, Australia is at present the source of at least 4.8% of total global emissions. That’s without considering natural gas exports
Australia’s domestic greenhouse gas emissions means it ranks 12th among the planet’s 195-plus nations. We are 16th in the world for domestic CO2 emissions alone. And our per capita emissions are among the highest in the world. So our contribution to global warming is much greater than we often recognise even excluding exported coal and gas.
The Conversation: 2 November 2012
Associate Professor, University of Melbourne
Key Words: Climate Change, fossil fuels, OzPolitics
Feedback Reigns Home Page