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Three Sisters of the outback in Carisbrooke, Australia
Three Sisters of the outback in Carisbrooke, Australia. Image by David Waterworth.

Policy & Politics

Australia Claims 1.2% of Global CO2 Emissions — Should Be 10%

The hypocrites in Canberra blame the big emitters India and China for climate change, but the coal they are burning is ours. We dig the stuff out of the ground, sell it overseas, and wash our hands of the outcome. We claim to be low-carbon emitters, but it just isn’t true if you take into account Scope 3 emissions. Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions come from how we produce here and how we burn here. Scope 3 covers the emissions after our product reaches its goal (the coal-fired power station in China, for example).  

Australian politicians on both sides are putting their electoral and donor interests ahead of our grandchildren’s future. There’s more ball passing than a State of Origin rugby league match. It is time we brought the politicians to account.

BHP and Rio Tinto are taking the leadership position, filling the vacuum created by the Morrison Conservative government. The Australian government does not publish Scope 3 emissions — the emissions caused overseas when the countries we blame for the problem burn our coal — but the mining companies do. 

Looking at their figures, we find that Australia is responsible for almost 10% of the world’s CO2 emissions, not the paltry 1.2% the government owns up to (the domestic figure — Scopes 1 & 2). It is the third highest emitter of greenhouse gases in world behind India and China. But the bronze medal is nothing to cheer about in this case.

We have had an apology to the stolen generation — those young indigenous people removed from their parents. This took many decades. I wonder how long it will take till we have a government that apologizes for stealing the future of all people by causing an overheating planet.

See more: “IEEFA Update: Why Australia is a bigger carbon pariah than we think.”


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Written By

David Waterworth is a retired teacher who divides his time between looking after his grandchildren and trying to make sure they have a planet to live on. He is long on Tesla [NASDAQ:TSLA].


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