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Facts about Australia's Carbon Footprint

Australia plans to make polluters pay for their carbon emissions from mid-2012, starting with a fixed-price scheme then moving to a market-based system five years later.

The government aims to cut its emissions by 5 percent by 2020 from 2000 levels.

Here are some details about Australia's carbon emissions.

  • Australia emits around 28 metric tons of carbon per person per year, one of the highest per capita levels in the developed world, primarily as it relies on coal to generate about 84 percent of it electricity.
  • Australia's net greenhouse emissions totaled 537 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2009, falling by 13 million metric tons from 2008 to 2009. Australia represents about 1.5 percent of world emissions.
  • Carbon dioxide represents 75.2 percent of Australian emissions, methane 19.7 percent, and nitrous oxide 4.1 percent.
  • Transport and energy account for 76 percent of Australian emissions, or 416 million metric tons.
  • Transport contributed 14 percent of emissions, or about 80 million metric tons, with 86 percent of that from road transport. Passenger cars largest source contributing 41 million metric tons. Electricity generation accounts for 37 percent of emissions, or 204 million metric tons.
  • Agriculture created 16 percent of emissions, or 87 million metric tons. Around 10 percent of Australian emissions, or 59 million metric tons, come from sheep and cattle, due to gases produced when they digest food. Livestock emissions fell almost 11 percent between 1990 and 2008, driven by a 57 percent fall in sheep numbers due to severe drought.

Source: Australian National Greenhouse Gas Inventory 2010




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