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Australia's GHG Output Down 3.1% In 2009 From 2008; Still 24% Above Kyoto Targets - SMH

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 12:50 PM
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Australia's GHG Output Down 3.1% In 2009 From 2008; Still 24% Above Kyoto Targets - SMH
Greenhouse gas emissions from energy production declined across eastern Australia last year because less coal was burnt, and NSW cut back more than the other states, research has shown. The result reflects the first tangible hints of a switch to natural gas and away from coal as a source of baseload power. Wind and solar energy made little impact on the energy grid last year, and still contribute just a sliver of the state's power mix.

Despite a rising population and economic growth, the state's emissions dropped 3.1 per cent compared with 2008. But they are still 24 per cent above greenhouse levels in 1990, the baseline year used to calculate carbon cuts under the Kyoto Protocol.

Altogether, carbon emissions from energy production decreased 1.8 per cent across the eastern states from their 2008 level, sparing 5.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, according to the annual report of The Climate Group, which monitors weekly changes in power production.

"Any decrease in emissions is good news and 5.3 million tonnes is a substantial saving,'' said the Australian director of The Climate Group, Rupert Posner. ''If we were to continue to cut by this much each year, emissions from energy would be almost 20 per cent lower by 2020. "Unfortunately, this isn't the whole story as low rates of growth have helped keep emissions down. As the economy returns to more robust levels of growth, continued reductions will be much harder to achieve unless we start to change the way we produce and use energy in a much more meaningful way.''

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