Aus to worsen CO2 emissions

23 Jan, 2013 09:51 AM

THE forecast expansion of Australian coal mining and exports would be the world's second largest contributor of new carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels if fully realised, research by Greenpeace International has found.

An analysis of the planet's 14 largest proposed, coal, oil and gas developments - to be released on Wednesday by Greenpeace - finds if Australian coal production expands as projected, the mining, production and burning of the extra resource would, by 2020, result in 759 million tonnes of new global carbon dioxide emissions a year over 2011 levels.

But emissions from Australian coal growth would be eclipsed by proposed coal production in western China, projected to result in 1400 million tonnes of annual CO2 emissions by 2020.

Greenpeace says development of the 14 fossil fuel projects would put significant pressure on the world's ability to meet a target, agreed to by nations through the United Nations, to limit global warming to a global average of two degrees.

''Burning the coal, oil and gas from these 14 projects would significantly push emissions over what climate scientists have identified as the 'carbon budget', the amount of additional CO2 that must not be exceeded if we are to keep climate change from spiralling out of control,'' the report says.

Based on new analysis by the British sustainability consultancy Ecofys, Greenpeace says fossil fuels from the 14 projects would contribute in 2020 the same emissions as the entire United States.

All up the report says by 2020 the 14 fossil fuels developments would result in an extra 6.34 billion annual tonnes of global carbon dioxide emissions. By 2050 total new emissions would reach a little over 300 billion tonnes.

The underlying Ecofys analysis says if new fossil fuels projects are fully developed, emissions would need to peak by 2019 to afford a 50-50 chance of keeping climate change to two degrees. If new fossil fuel development is avoided, emissions can peak later in 2025 before rapid cuts are needed.

Of the total amount of estimated global emissions that can be released by 2050 to have a 50 per cent chance for two degrees, new fossil fuel developments would eat up 20 per cent. Of the emissions allowed to have a 75 per cent chance of two degrees of warming, the proposed fossil fuel expansions would account for 30 per cent.

While the global carbon implications of Australian coal expansion is less than China, the report says it would be bigger than the well-publicised development of tar sands in Canada.

With a carbon tax now in place to price domestic emissions, environmentalists are increasingly trying to shift a spotlight onto the contribution of Australia's coal exports to global warming. The vast majority of emissions from exported coal are not counted under Australia's greenhouse gas targets, and is instead recognised in the country it is burnt.

Ecofys says the analysis is based on present fossil fuel industry plans being realised, and should not be considered the most likely outcome of what may actually be developed.

The analysis includes exports of Australian coal for use in both electricity and steel production.

The UBS global commodity analyst Tom Price said: ''[As a] rule of thumb, in forecasting supply growth in any commodity market, whatever the market in total expects in terms of supply delivery, you can pretty much expect only 50 per cent of it turns up''.

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Ian Mott
23/01/2013 2:18:36 PM

Could someone explain to these Green morons that emissions from coal are recorded in the country where it is burned. Not the country that dug it up. So they should take up the issue with uncle Hu Jin Tao. I'm sure he could do with a good laugh from time to time. And then these Climate Scientology cultists can explain where all the heat went after CO2 rose by more than 35ppm over the last 16 years. Not a jot of warming to show for it.
23/01/2013 2:45:13 PM

I don't know if Motty is right, so for now I will take his word on emmissions, I don't know however that the emmissions involved with digging it up and transporting it are booked to the end user, no doubt motty, Nico et al will clue me up on that. My personal opinion is that Australia needs to start rapidly implementing the ZCA2020 initiatives. We also need to figure out just how Australia replaces the dollar value of the coal industry. To just say shut it down, even if we had a replacement RE source is just too simplistic, and the domain of the Engo's.
23/01/2013 3:02:51 PM

Pott persists with his untruth about lack of warming, even though he knows that it is not true. It suits his ideology, so science can take second place. For a more rational view, see: n_2012_GISTEMP_summary.pdf
Lets Get Realistic
23/01/2013 3:22:26 PM

Does anyone really believe this co2 causes wild spiralling out of control climate change any more ? I dont. And neither does anyone else with one ounce of inteligence. The people pushing this scam should be jailed.
Lets Get Realistic
23/01/2013 8:37:07 PM

Nico ? lets get realistic, you have your own ideology in your warming belief. But one only has to look at the cold and snow in the northern hemisphere to realise your wrong. Full points for effort but the game is up.
23/01/2013 9:09:00 PM

Here we go again the deniers out in force with their abuse of anyone else. LGR an ounce is about all you have.
Bill Pounder
24/01/2013 2:55:40 AM

Hansen, "The 5-year mean global temperature has been flat for a decade, which we interpret as a combination of natural variability and a slowdown in the growth rate of the net climate forcing." No doubt, it is entirely supportive of the current mainstream position, see The Met Office Xmas Eve press release that global temps have flatlined for 16 years. That's concensus for you. This is all a bit odd considering that under the AGW theory, ever increasing CO2 concentrations lead to ever increasing temps. Stop your messing around,... DQ85Dg-ss
Lets Get Realistic
24/01/2013 8:09:02 AM

Those of the AGW religion are the ones in denial Concerned.
Ian Mott
24/01/2013 9:40:17 AM

It is "Climate Scientology" and we all know what they mean by "peer review". Meanwhile, the IPCC in its leaked latest report, continues to abuse the very meaning of science itself by quoting Greenpeace and WWF brochures as if they were published research. And poor old sico, he still believes that warming can continue when temperatures don't rise. He just uses longer and longer running means so the recent lack of warming is buried by earlier records. The UK Met office now concedes there will be no warming for another 4 years.
24/01/2013 10:02:47 AM

LGR, it's not about "belief" but about accepting or refuting scientific evidence. If you can refute the evidence, please do (you'll be a hero!). Assertion and abuse don't count. Mounder, I have urged you on another thread to actually read the paper which you cite. You obviously have not done so, as you still seem to think that it supports your denialist position. It doesn't. Not even the out-of-context quote which you produce supports your position.
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Can't you boys find another playground to occupy? Same old punters, same old tired barbs and
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Another of the sacred scare stories comes undone for the agw
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He might well be a decent bloke Chick, however Jock is right on the money regarding Sterles