Australia’s Emissions Explained 1 – Rewiring Australia

Graph and article from

We have represented Australia’s domestic emissions data in a way that enables us to think about domestic economy decarbonization separately from export economy decarbonization. We separate out 2 categories, (1) the domestic emissions that support our domestic economy from (2) the trade emissions that count on Australia’s emissions budget, but are in fact emissions that are associated with creating our exports.

This categorization is useful for a few reasons, principally that the stakeholders and decision makers are very different, also that the solution set and technological readiness are quite different.  The majority of emissions in our domestic economy are a result of decisions and purchases made by our individual households and small businesses. It represents a huge number of stakeholders (10,000,000 households) and physically represents a very large number (approximately 100,000,000) of small machines (cars, water heaters, space heaters, kitchen appliances) that are significant capital expenditures to the individual households. These emissions are broken down in the second Sankey diagram in further detail and are the focal point of this study as they can be addressed with technologies that exist today.

LULUCF = Land Use, Land Use-Change and Forestry emissions

Unlike other sectors, activities on the land can generate both sources of greenhouse gas emissions and sinks that remove or sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Net emissions from the land are heavily influenced by biological processes and, consequently, tend to be more variable, more complex and more difficult to estimate than for many other sources of emissions.

Nevertheless, as a net source of emissions, the land sector remains significant. In Australia, in 1990 the land accounted for around 24 per cent of total emissions reported in the national inventory.

Internationally, the land sector has contributed an estimated 19 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions since 1960 (IPCC, 2014).

Mitigation scenarios reported by the IPCC identify the land sector as a major contributor to global responses designed to limit global net emissions consistent with a 2C ceiling.

Pledge Your Vote Now
Change language