Australian carbon emissions nearly double those of Egypt

The federal government has secured enough supply to power east coast gas generators for six years.

The federal government has secured enough supply to power east coast gas generators for six years. Photo: AAP

Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions are nearly double Egypt’s, according to a new emissions tracker, despite the Middle Eastern country being home to four times as many people.

The tracker, Climate TRACE, was launched by former US vice president and environmentalist Al Gore in Egypt, where leaders are meeting to accelerate action on climate change.

Data from the tracker sheds light on how much of a fossil fuel giant Australia is, as well as the injustice of the climate crisis, Climate Council research director Simon Bradshaw said.

Australia’s emissions more than triple those put out by the entire Pacific region, factoring in New Zealand.

“Time and time again, we’re seeing those that emit the least – like Pacific island countries – being hit the hardest by climate disasters,” Dr Bradshaw said.

“The world’s biggest polluters, like Australia, need to start forking out for the damage they have caused.”

Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions nearly double the whole of Scandinavia’s, according to the tracker.

It also shows emissions from Eraring – Australia’s biggest coal-fired power plant – at Lake Macquarie in New South Wales outweigh the combined emissions total for monitored facilities in Fiji, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, French Polynesia, Kiribati, New Caledonia, and Micronesia.

Origin has fast-tracked the closure of the coal-fired power plant at Eraring to August 2025.

Countries outside of Australia have made new loss and damage commitments, including Canada, Scotland, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, and New Zealand, Dr Bradshaw said.

“Australia’s shift from fossil fuel heavyweight to renewable energy superpower could herald a new era of regional co-operation with the Pacific,” he said.

“But the federal government has to start by taking fossil fuels off the table, immediately, especially if it’s serious about co-hosting COP31 in partnership with the Pacific in four years’ time.”

The new tracker provides maps and data on global greenhouse gas emissions, including for 72,000 power plants.

It was launched at the COP27 climate change summit in Egypt.


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