Tasmanian Greenhouse Gas Accounts 2016

Tasmanian Climate Change Office

Baseline and emissions profile for 2015-16

Tasmania’s total greenhouse gas emissions in 2016 were -0.01 mega-tonnes (Mt) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e), which is a 100 per cent reduction from the 1989‑90 baseline.

Tasmania’s total baseline greenhouse gas emissions in the year of 1989-90 were 18.9 Mt CO2-e. The State’s total emissions for 2015-16 were -0.01 Mt CO2‑e, which is a 100 per cent reduction from the baseline. This means Tasmania achieved zero net emissions for the first time in 2016.

Emissions profile for 2015-16

The most significant reduction in emissions can be attributed to the LULUCF sector, which changed from a major source of emissions at 10.83 Mt CO2-e in 1989-90, to become a carbon sink of -8.05 Mt CO2-e in 2015-16, effectively offsetting a large portion of emissions from other sectors.

As with the previous year, the transport sub-sector continues to be the largest contributing sub-sector to the State’s emissions at 1.71 Mt CO2-e in 2015‑16.

The reduction in Tasmanian’s greenhouse gas emissions is significant, given Tasmania’s population has grown by 12 per cent, and its Gross State Product has grown by 72 per cent. This demonstrates that Tasmania has decoupled the historic link between economic activity and emissions growth.

Emissions from the LULUCF sector have had a major influence on Tasmania’s total annual emissions, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1 shows that emissions from the energy, agriculture, waste and industrial processes sectors have remained relatively steady, with each sector under 5  Mt  CO2-e since 1990. From lowest to highest, the sectors are waste, industrial processes, agriculture and energy. Emissions from the LULUCF sector between 1990 and 2003 have varied between 7 Mt CO2-e and 14 Mt CO2-e. Emissions then decreased sharply from a peak of 14.3  Mt CO2-e in 2003, to become a carbon sink of -8.05  Mt CO2-e in 2016.

Figure 1: Tasmania's greenhouse gas emissions from 1989-90 to 2015-16, by sector

Figure 2 shows the contributions to total Tasmanian greenhouse gas emissions by sector in 2015-16. Further discussion relating to the impact of sub-sectors on the greenhouse gas emissions for each sector is contained in the Emissions by sector section of this report.

Figure 2 shows that energy is Tasmania's highest emitting sector at 3.98  Mt CO2-e, followed by agriculture (2.09 Mt CO2-e), industrial processes (1.63 Mt CO2-e) and waste (0.35 Mt CO2-e). The LULUCF sector is the lowest emitter at -8.05  Mt CO2-e.

Figure 2: Tasmania's greenhouse gas emissions for 2015-16, by sector

Table 1 shows the change in both total and sectoral greenhouse gas emissions between the baseline year and 2015-16, which have increased for the energy and industrial processes sectors and decreased for the other three sectors over this period.

Sector

Emissions (Mt CO2-e)

Change (%) *

1990

2016

Energy

3.72

3.98

7.0

Industrial processes and product use

1.56

1.63

5.1

Agriculture

2.32

2.09

-9.8

Land use, land use change and forestry

10.83

-8.05

-174.3

Waste

0.48

0.35

-27.6

* Note the percentage change calculations may not agree due to rounding.

Table 1: Change in Tasmania's 1989-90 baselines and 2015-16 greenhouse gas emissions, by sector

Table 2 shows the differences in Tasmania’s 2015-16 emissions by sector from the preceding year and indicates that emissions from the energy and waste sectors increased over the last year while the other sectors decreased.

Sector

Emissions (Mt CO2-e)

Change (%) *

2015

2016

Energy

3.63

3.98

9.6

Industrial processes and product use

1.79

1.63

-8.9

Agriculture

2.16

2.09

-3.4

Land use, land use change and forestry

-7.16

-8.05

-12.4

Waste

0.31

0.35

11.4

* Note the percentage change calculations may not agree due to rounding.

Table 2: Change in Tasmania's greenhouse gas emissions levels in the year to 2015-16, by sector