According to data from the Clean Energy Regulator’s National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER), Australia’s reported scope 1 emissions declined by 3 per cent or 10.1 million tonnes in 2019-20, totalling 327 million tonnes. The decline was largely due to decreases in emissions from electricity generation and oil and gas production.
Emissions from oil and gas and LNG decreased by 7 per cent as a result of reduced venting and flaring across the sector, despite overall production increases, while electricity sector emissions decreased by 4.6 per cent due to the increased use of renewable energy and a cut in black coal usage.
Meanwhile, emissions in the transport sector decreased by 6.4 per cent largely due to reduced domestic flights resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Electricity generation accounted for the highest reported scope 1 emissions in 2019-20 (47.9 per cent), followed by mining (at 29.4 per cent), manufacturing (15 per cent), transport (4.7 per cent) and other (3.1 per cent).
According to the Clean Energy Regulator, black coal was the primary fuel source for electricity generation in 2019-20, followed by renewables (19.1 per cent), brown coal (15.4 per cent) and gas (14.9 per cent).
The data also revealed Australia’s 10 highest scope 1 emitters which saw AGL Energy Limited topping the list, producing a total of 42.2 million tonnes of carbon emissions in 2019-20.
AGL is responsible for 24.6 per cent of electricity sector emissions and 8 per cent of Australia’s total emissions, which primarily comes from the coal burned at the company’s three coal-burning power stations: Liddell, Bayswater, and Loy Yang A.
EnergyAustralia Holdings Limited came in next at 17.9 million tonnes of scope 1 carbon emissions, followed closely by Stanwell Corporation Limited at 17.1 million tonnes and Origin Energy Limited at 15.9 million tonnes.
According to the report, Australia’s indirect scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions totalled 86 million tonnes in 2019-20.
Rio Tinto Limited produced the highest amount of total scope 2 emissions in 2019-20, at 7.7 million tonnes of carbon emissions, followed by Pechiney Consolidated Australia Pty Limited at 6.7 million tonnes and Alcoa Australian Holdings Pty Ltd at 4.1 million tonnes.