Australia is contributing one of the largest carbon dioxide emissions that could aggravate the world’s climate change issues. It is only behind Russia and Saudi Arabia, in its carbon footprint and what more, it has a scattering potential to add more if numbers released by public policy think tank the Australia Institute are to be taken into account.
The report discusses carbon emissions in terms of fossil fuel exports from countries. Australia’s coal burning around the world is more widespread than most of the world’s leading gas producing countries like Iraq and Kuwait with 57 tons of carbon dioxide per person every year, it exponentially exceeds the world average. The country exports 7% of the world’s fossil fuel, carbon dioxide potential.
Climate and Energy Director at the Australia Institute, Richie Merzian… stated, “Australia should be factoring this in, in how we consider our climate change responsibilities. If Australia takes up the Galilee Basin, fracks, accesses the Great Australian Bight, it will continue to push Australia down a dangerous path.”
The study is built upon the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) standardized energy units for crude oil, refined oil, natural gas and coal, expressed as kilotons of oil equivalent (ktoe). These are combined with IPCC data which gives CO2 emissions per energy unit for each fuel type, expressed as kilograms of CO2 per terajoule.
With call to arms, this situation has been considered very grave in proving to be an encumbrance for efforts extended towards mitigating climate change. However, there exists another side to this argument. Australian fossil fuel exports, namely gas, are helping to reduce worldwide CO2 emissions, according to Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) CEO Andrew McConville. “Natural gas plays a key role in reducing global emissions and in assisting export customers in moving to a lower carbon future. If Australia was to stop producing natural gas, our Asian customers would use other sources of energy including traditional fuels that have much higher associated emissions,” he said.