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Australia's Victoria and NSW Show Higher Greenhouse Emissions in 2008

Date
14 April 2008

The world's first weekly greenhouse indicator has revealed that greenhouse emissions from energy in NSW and Victoria have risen for the first quarter in 2008. In NSW they were 24.688 million tonnes of {CO2}-equivalent, which is 1,837,000 tonnes or 8 per cent higher than the same period in 2007. In Victoria emissions were 25.439 million tonnes, 86,000 tonnes or 0.3 per cent higher than 2007.

The °Climate Group's Australian Director, Rupert Posner, said it appears higher prices are having very little impact on petrol use.

"Emissions from petroleum products were up 3 per cent on the same period in 2007 in NSW and 4 per cent higher in Victoria."

For the first quarter of 2008 in NSW electricity from coal produced 15.084 million tonnes of greenhouse gases (61 per cent), natural gas-fired electricity was responsible for 0.113 million tonnes (1 per cent) and petroleum 9.491 million tonnes (38 per cent).

"Electricity demand in NSW was 2 per cent lower in the first quarter of 2008 compared to 2007 due to milder weather," said Mr Posner. "However, NSW's emissions rose steeply due to an 11 per cent increase in emissions from coal-fired generation. This has been due to a reduction in hydro generation and lower power imports from Victoria."

For the first quarter of 2008 inflows into the hydro storages in NSW have been low and the level of water storage has been at historic lows. Hydro-generation was 19 per cent lower than the same period in 2007 - which wasn't particularly high.

In Victoria, for the first quarter of 2008 electricity from coal produced 15.767 million tonnes of greenhouse gases (62 per cent), natural gas was responsible for 2.377 million tonnes (9 per cent) and petroleum 7.295 million tonnes (29 per cent).

"With a cooler start to this year in Victoria, emissions were lower than 2007 for the first half of the quarter but hot weather in March saw emissions increase to levels higher than the same period in 2007," said Mr Posner.

While electricity demand in Victoria grew slightly, this did not correspond to an increase in Victorian generation but rather a reduction in the level of electricity exported to NSW. Emissions from coal-fired electricity reduced marginally (0.4 per cent). Emissions from natural gas were 5 per cent lower due to a reduction in the level of gas used for power generation due to milder weather compared with the same time in 2007.

In Victoria the Weekly Greenhouse Indicator peaked in mid February (2.035 million tonnes, 16-22 Feb) when emissions from coal-fired electricity were greatest and was at its lowest (1.831 million tonnes) at the beginning of January.

Launched in 2007 by The °Climate Group, the Weekly Greenhouse Indicator track's the States' greenhouse emissions in real time.

"The Greenhouse Indicator shows us that rather than heading down as they need to, our emissions continue to rise and for the first quarter of 2008 were 12 per cent higher than the equivalent average weekly emissions in 1990 in NSW and 27 per cent higher in Victoria.

"The urgent challenge is to turn things around and try and make the number go down rather than up."

Learn more about the indicator or to sign up to receive weekly updates here.

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