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Australia's Domestic plus Exported GHG pollution has increased under Labor

Australia's Domestic plus Exported GHG  pollution has increased under Labor.


In November 2007 the Australian Labor Government was elected in part on the promise to “tackle climate change”. Unfortunately nearly 2 and a half years later and despite the global economic downturn, Australia’s Domestic plus Exported greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution in the last complete financial year  of the Labor Government (2009-2010) is on track to be over 5% bigger than that in the last complete financial year of the previous Liberal-National Party Coalition Government  (2006-2007).

The following data for Australian GHG pollution largely derive from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) [1], the US Energy Information Administration (US EIA) [2], : , the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) [3], the World Coal Institute [4], Greenlivingpedia [5], the UN Population Division [6] and the Australian Government Department of Climate Change Australian National Greenhouse Gas Accounts [7].

According to the Quarterly update of the Australian National Greenhouse accounts for September 2009 [7],  Australia’s Domestic greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution dropped to 539 Mt CO2-e (million tonnes CO2 equivalent) for the 4 quarters to the September 2009 quarter. This fall in Australia’s greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution (from 598 Mt CO2-e in 2006-2007) was associated with the global economic downturn and is presumably now being reversed with the increase in economic activity.  However this fall in Domestic GHG pollution has been more than compensated for by a huge increase in Australia’s Exported GHG pollution as tabulated below.

 

 

                                                  2000     2003-04   2004-05   2005-06   2006-07   2007-08   2008-09   2009-10

 

1. Coal exports (Mt, millions of tonnes)    186.3    218.4       231.3      231.3       243.6      252.1       261.4       291.6

 

2. Coal exports (Mt CO2)                        372.6    436.8       462.6      462.6       487.2       504.2      522.8       583.2                        

 

3. LNG exports (Mt)                                    7.2       7.4           8.7        11.0        13.1        13.7        15.4         17.4

 

4. LNG exports (Mt CO2)                           20.4     20.3          24.0       30.1         36.1       37.6         42.4        47.8

 

5. Exported CO2 (Mt CO2)                        393.1   457.1        486.7     492.7       523.3     541.8        565.2      631.0

 

6. Domestic GHG (Mt CO2-e)                    552.7    559.0       575.0     593.0       598.0     592.5        555.0    >539.0

 

7. Domestic + Exported GHG (Mt CO2-e)   945.7   1016.1     1061.7   1085.7     1121.3    1134.3      1120.2   >1170.0

 

8. Population (millions)                               19.2       20.0        20.3       20.5         20.7        21.0         21.2        21.5

 

9. Domestic per capita GHG                        28.8       27.9        28.3       28.9        28.9        28.2         26.2       >25.1

(t CO2-e per person per year)

 

10. Domestic + Exported per capita GHG     49.3       50.8        52.3       53.0        54.2        54.0         52.8        >54.4

(t CO2-e per person per year)


Both Dr James Lovelock FRS (Gaia hypothesis) and Professor Kevin Anderson ( Director, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Manchester, UK) have recently estimated that fewer than 1 billion people will survive this century due to unaddressed, man-made global warming – noting that the world population is expected to reach 9.5 billion by 2050, these estimates translate to a climate genocide involving deaths of 10 billion people this century, this including 6 billion under-5 year old infants, 3 billion Muslims in a terminal Muslim Holocaust, 2 billion Indians, 1.3 billion non-Arab Africans, 0.5 billion Bengalis, 0.3 billion Pakistanis and 0.3 billion Bangladeshis. [8-10].

Already 16 million people (about 9.5 million of them under-5 year old infants) die avoidably every year due to deprivation and deprivation-exacerbated disease – and man-made global warming is already clearly worsening this global avoidable mortality holocaust. However 10 billion avoidable deaths due to global warming this century yields an average annual avoidable death rate of 100 million per year. [11].

Collective, national responsibility for this already commenced Climate Holocaust is in direct proportion to per capita national pollution of the atmosphere with greenhouse gases (GHGs). Indeed, fundamental to any international agreement on national rights to pollute our common atmosphere and oceans should be the belief that “all men are created equal”. However reality is otherwise: “annual per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution” in units of “tonnes CO2-equivalent per person per year” (2005-2008 data) is 0.9 (Bangladesh), 0.9 (Pakistan), 2.2 (India), less than 3 (many African and Island countries), 3.2 (the Developing World), 5.5 (China), 6.7 (the World), 11 (Europe), 16 (the Developed World), 27 (the US) and 30 (Australia; or 54 if Australia’s huge Exported CO2 pollution is included). [12-14].

However there is also a past carbon pollution debt for carbon pollution from the start of the Industrial Revolution 2 centuries ago. European First World countries are responsible for about 73% of historical carbon pollution of the atmosphere from 1751-2006,with India, Japan and China contributing 2.5%, 3.9% and 8.2%, respectively. [15].

There must be a safe and sustainable existence for all peoples and all species on our warming-threatened Planet and according to many top scientists this requires a rapid reduction of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration  to about 300 parts per million. It is unfortunate that Australia, a world leader in annual per capita greenhouse gas pollution, is still heading in the wrong direction and increasing GHG pollution.  [16, 17].

[1]. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS): http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4613.0Chapter50Jan+2010 .

 

[2]. US Energy Information Administration (US EIA): http://www.eia.doe.gov/iea/carbon.html , http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/aer/txt/ptb1114.html ,

http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/country/country_energy_data.cfm?fips=AS

and http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/ask/environment_faqs.asp#source_by_fuel ).

 

[3]. Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE: http://www.abare.gov.au/interactive/09ac_dec/htm/coal.htm and http://www.abareconomics.com/interactive/09_auEnergy/htm/chapter_5.htm .

 

[4]. World Coal Institute: http://www.worldcoal.org/resources/coal-statistics/ ,

 

[5]. Greenlivingpedia: http://www.greenlivingpedia.org/Australian_coal_exports .

 

[6]. UN Population Division (see: http://esa.un.org/unpp/p2k0data.asp ).

[7]. Australian Government, Department of Climate Changge, Quarterly update of the Australian National Greenhouse accounts for September 2009:   http://www.climatechange.gov.au/climate-change/~/media/publications/greenhouse-acctg/national-greenhouse-accounts-september-2009.ashx .

[8]. “Climate racism, climate injustice & climate genocide – Australia, US and EU sabotage Copenhagen COP15”: http://bellaciao.org/en/spip.php?article19422 .

[9]. Climate Genocide: http://sites.google.com/site/climategenocide/ .

[10]. Climate Crisis articles: http://sites.google.com/site/climatecrisisarticles/ .

[11]. Gideon Polya, “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950”, G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007; see: http://mwcnews.net/Gideon-Polya and http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/  ).

[12]. “List of countries by greenhouse gas emissions per capita”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_greenhouse_gas_emissions_per_capita .

[13].Gideon Polya,  “Climate justice & climate injustice: Australia wants a 2020 per capita GHG pollution 15 times greater than Developing World’s”: http://sites.google.com/site/yarravalleyclimateactiongroup/climate-justice .

[14]. Gideon Polya, “Post-Copenhagen Australia will increase its Domestic plus Exported per capita GHG pollution”: http://sites.google.com/site/yarravalleyclimateactiongroup/post-copenhagen-australia .

[15]. Letter to PM Rudd by Dr James Hansen (Head, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies): http://www.aussmc.org.au/documents/Hansen2008LetterToKevinRudd_000.pdf .

[16]. “300.org – return atmosphere CO2 to 300 ppm”: http://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/300-org---return-atmosphere-co2-to-300-ppm .

[17]. 300.org: http://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/Home .

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