Energy Minister Angus Taylor Paris agreement carbon emissions
Minister for Energy Angus Taylor (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

Australia’s greenhouse emissions have soared in new data belatedly released by the government nearly a week after it was required to. 

The quarterly update of Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory for the December 2018 quarter — due to be released last week — shows that, on a seasonally adjusted basis, emissions reached 135.2 megatonnes (Mt), up from 134.1 Mt in the September 2018 quarter.

That’s the highest level of seasonally adjusted emissions since December 2012 and shows the continuing surge in greenhouse emissions since the Abbott government removed Australia’s carbon-pricing system and failed to replace it with any meaningful greenhouse abatement policies. Overall, emissions rose 0.7% over 2018, taking Australia ever further away from its unambitious, Abbott-era emissions abatement targets for 2030.

Worse, the Environment Department has revised upwards emissions figures from recent years since its previous report, meaning Australia has been pumping even more emissions into the atmosphere historically than previously assumed.

As is now standard, the government has sought to hide the increase by highlighting per capita emissions — a meaningless figure in terms of overall impact on climate. “This is a substantial global contribution to be proud of,” climate denialist Energy Minister Angus Taylor declared about the figures. Taylor’s office had earlier leaked the overdue figures to News Corp as the basis for a softball interview.