Greenhouse Gas Accounts

Tasmanian Climate Change Office

Introduction

The Tasmanian Greenhouse Gas Accounts 2014-15 report demonstrates the State’s progress towards its emissions reduction target and monitors emissions by sector. Under the Climate Change (State Action) Act 2008, Tasmania currently has a legislated greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of at least 60 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050. This report will inform future programs as the State sets a course of action that aspires to zero net emissions by 2050.

Measuring Tasmania’s Emissions

Each year, the Minister publishes Tasmania’s baseline and latest emissions figure in the Tasmanian Government Gazette as required under the Climate Change (Greenhouse Gas Emissions) Regulations 2012 (the Regulations). This report, prepared by the Tasmanian Climate Change Office (TCCO) provides further information on the State’s emissions by sector.

Regulation 4 of the Regulations sets out the method for measuring Tasmania’s 1989-90 baseline greenhouse gas emissions, and changes to the State’s emissions over time. The method outlined in the Regulations is consistent with national and international emissions reporting requirements.

The 1989-90 baseline is the total carbon-dioxide equivalent (CO2-e) emissions for Tasmania for the financial year ending on 30 June 1990, as set out in the most recently published state and territory greenhouse gas inventories report.

This Tasmanian Greenhouse Gas Accounts 2014-15 report was compiled using data from the Australian Government’s State and Territory Greenhouse Gas Inventories 2015[1], produced by the Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy to meet annual reporting commitments under Article 12 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Article 7 of the Kyoto Protocol.

Emissions for the following sectors are to be included:

  • energy;
  • industrial processes;
  • agriculture;
  • waste;
  • land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF); and
  • any other sector set out in the State and Territory Greenhouse Gas Inventories report.

Due to the complexity of the data and calculations, there is a two-year lag in reporting, with the latest greenhouse gas emissions accounts relating to 2014-15.

International Reporting Rules

The State and Territory Greenhouse Gas Inventories 2015 is the third prepared under the second Kyoto Agreement reporting period (spanning 2013 to 2020), and is based on revised international reporting rules. As agreed by the UNFCCC in 2013, emissions must be estimated using methods described by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories and 2013 Revised Supplementary Methods and Good Practice Guidance arising from the Kyoto Protocol.

The revised reporting rules and the IPCC guidelines have resulted in changes to the coverage of emission sources, and to some methods and emission factors.[2] They have also required changes to the global warming potentials[3] used to convert emissions from some gases into CO2‑e.

The most consequential change for Tasmania has been the mandatory inclusion of forest management, cropland management and grazing land management activities as subsectors within the LULUCF sector. The inclusion of emissions sources and carbon sinks (or removals), from harvesting and timber growth in the State’s multiple-use public forests, private native forests and plantations, has a significant impact on Tasmania’s emissions accounts.

Each year, the emissions estimates are calculated for all sectors from the baseline year of 1989‑90 through to the current year, being 2014-15 in this instance. To incorporate changes to the reporting rules over time, and to maintain usefulness and accuracy in reporting and comparing estimates, all emissions estimates are recalculated yearly across all sectors, from the baseline year of 1989-90 through to the current year. This means the emissions estimates included in this report cannot be directly compared with those released in previous year’s greenhouse gas accounts.