The Guardian April 21, 1999


Greenhouse cover-up

Under the United Nations Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas emissions, 
Australia agreed to limit its greenhouse gas emissions by 2010, to an eight 
per cent increase on 1990 levels. Information uncovered by Greenpeace shows 
that by the year 2014 Australia's greenhouse pollution, from burning coal 
and oil, will have increased by 70 per cent!

When the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics (ABARE) 
last week published its report, Australian Energy: Market developments 
and projections 2014-15, it was advertised as containing "estimates of 
greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector", including the oil, coal 
and gas industries.

But these greenhouse estimates, which have been included in previous ABARE 
reports, were omitted. Greenpeace has used ABARE's own mathematical 
formulas with the figures in previous reports and calculates a more than 70 
per cent increase in greenhouse pollution.

Greenpeace said it was deeply troubling that the Howard Government is 
attempting to hide the truth from the Australian people and called for a 
full explanation as to why the figures were omitted and who is responsible 
for the cover-up.

"These energy forecasts highlight the total failure of the Howard 
Government's response to the world's most pressing environmental issue  
climate change", said Greenpeace spokesperson Robbie Kelman.

Greenpeace points out that the Federal Government continues to promote the 
excessive use of environmentally damaging fossil fuels and at the same time 
is failing to develop the renewable energy industry that will help solve 
the problem.

"The Government's promise to increase renewable energy use by two per cent 
by 2010 is clearly inadequate", said Robbie Kelman. "This target must be 
increased to 20 per cent if Australia is to develop a renewable energy 
industry that will allow us to phase out the use of fossil fuels, prevent 
dangerous levels of climate change and meet international obligations to 
limit greenhouse pollution."

Back to index page