The State of Queensland

Population: 4.8 million (2015)

GDP: AUS$305 billion (2015)

Country: Australia

Total GHG emissions (year): 159 million tonnes (2013)

GHG emissions/capita/year: 34 tonnes per person per year (2013)

Queensland is located on the east coast of Australia, covering an area of more than 1.85 million square kilometers and with a coastline stretching nearly 7,000 kilometers. The Queensland economy is the third largest of Australia’s eight states and territories, with 19% of the nation’s GDP.

The Queensland Government recognizes the need both to adapt to the effects of a changing climate, and to mitigate the effects of climate change through reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Facing the issue of climate change is a shared responsibility and Queensland is willing to do its fair share in reducing emissions and moving to a low carbon future. The Queensland Government is also in the process of exploring options for climate change mitigation. The government plans to reduce emissions in innovative ways including:

  • Supporting measures associated with renewable energy, particularly focusing on solar and a mandate for biofuels.
  • Reintroducing vegetation protection measures to decrease emissions associated with clearing.

The government supports greater use of renewable energy, with key commitments announced under A Solar Future plan including:

  • Setting a target of one million solar rooftops by 2020.
  • Investigating a 50% renewable energy target for 2030.
  • Supporting up to 60 megawatts of large-scale solar power generation through a renewable energy reverse auction.

These measures will complement and support the government’s commitment to protect the Great Barrier Reef including to ‘keep carbon in the ground’ through vegetation protection measures.

The Queensland Government is also working to support Queensland communities, landholders, industries and businesses in accessing Australian Government programs, including funding opportunities under the national Emissions Reduction Fund. The Queensland Government provides a Regrowth Benefits Tool which can be used by landholders to estimate potential carbon abatement rates and biodiversity benefits from vegetation regrowth.

  • Key Targets / Successes

    Most innovative climate actions and emissions reduction successes: 

    • 16% reduction in Queensland greenhouse gas emissions between 2005 and 2013.
    • Since 2009 emissions from stationary energy (including electricity generation) have decreased from a peak of 56.2 million tonnes CO2e to 51.8 million tonnes.
    • 61% reduction in land use, land use change and forestry emissions between 2005 and 2013.
    • 17% decrease in waste emissions between 1990 and 2013.
    • About 30% of all Queensland dwellings are estimated to have a Solar PV system.
    • Installed solar PV generation capacity in Queensland is 1500 megawatts which generates over 2 million megawatt hours of zero emissions electricity per year.

    Despite past emissions reduction success, if Queensland takes no new steps to reduce its carbon pollution, a baseline scenario projects emissions could rise by 35% by 2030. The Queensland Government accepts the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change and sees understanding the emissions generated as the important step towards developing a strategy for tackling carbon pollution in Queensland.

  • Current activities

    Renewable Energy:

    The Queensland Government ‘A Solar Future’ plan includes:

    • Setting a target for one million rooftops or 3000 megawatts of solar photovoltaics (PV) in Queensland by 2020.
    • To support the 2020 solar target, the Queensland Productivity Commission will conduct a public review into a fair price for the cost of solar energy.
    • A renewable energy study that will investigate the development of a renewable energy economy in Queensland to consider a credible pathway to achieving 50% renewable energy target by 2030.
    • A commitment to supporting up to 60 megawatts of solar generation to encourage large-scale solar generation and investment in Queensland.

    Clean transportation:

    • ‘Electric super highway’ by facilitating electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging service locations for drivers travelling up and down the length of Queensland.
    • A biofuel mandate that sets a minimum sales requirement for ethanol-blended regular unleaded petrol and bio-based diesel.

    Sustainable land use:

    • A commitment to reinstate a responsible vegetation management framework for Queensland to reduce carbon emissions and protect the Great Barrier Reef.

    Adaptation:

    • AUS$3 million over three years to support the development and implementation of a Queensland Climate Adaptation Strategy in order to improve opportunities and reduce risks to the Queensland economy, environment, infrastructure and communities from current and future climate impacts.
    • Investing AUS$12 million over three years through the Climate Change (Coastal Hazards) Adaptation Program to help coastal communities plan and prepare for storm tide, coastal erosion and rising sea levels from climate change.
  • More info

    Most important economic sectors:

    Queensland has a modern, diversified economy. Its economy is underpinned by strong sectors including agriculture, resources, construction, tourism and manufacturing.

    Agriculture provided the original base for the development of the Queensland economy, with grains, wool and beef the principal products. While these commodities remain important, they have been supplemented by a large range of other agricultural products.

    The resources sector has been a key driver of growth in Queensland. The state’s coal and bauxite reserves are among the largest in the world, and are generally of a high grade and easily accessible. Queensland is the world’s largest seaborne exporter of metallurgical coal.

    In recent years, there has been significant construction work done in developing Queensland’s Coal Seam Gas to Liquefied Natural Gas (CSG-to-LNG) industry. LNG exports commenced in 2015, and are expected to strengthen considerably to become the state’s second largest export.

    Queensland boasts many natural attractions, including the Great Barrier Reef, extensive beaches, island resorts and tropical rainforests, as well as cosmopolitan cities and a unique countryside. International and domestic tourism will always play an important role in Queensland's economy.

    In Queensland, manufacturing has traditionally supported the resources and agriculture sectors through activities such as minerals and meat processing. In recent years the manufacturing sector has diversified and expanded into higher value‑added and high technology industries.

    GHG breakdown by sector (%) (2013):

    Energy

    62%

    Industrial Processes

    4%

    Agriculture

    16%

    Waste

    2%

    Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry

    16%

    Current power sector mix (%) (2014):

    Coal

    73%

    Gas

    22%

    Renewables

    5%

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