Weekly Greenhouse Indicator for New South Wales

13 September 2007

The people of New South Wales now can follow the State's greenhouse gas emissions each and every week.

The °Climate Group has developed a Weekly Greenhouse Indicator for NSW. It provides real-time information on the greenhouse gas emissions produced from coal-fired electricity, natural gas-fired electricity and petroleum every week. This accounts for about 65% of emissions in NSW. Remaining emissions come from agriculture, waste and industrial processes.

The first week's figure was 1.914 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent. Coal-fired electricity accounted for 62%, natural gas-fired electricity less than 1% and petroleum 37%. This is 12.2% above the equivalent 1990 weekly average for NSW.

The °Climate Group's Australian Director, Rupert Posner, said the initiative was designed to assist people in understanding the issue and to help track our greenhouse gas emissions.

"Each and every week we release greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere but because they can't be seen it is difficult to understand how much is being produced. This initiative puts a figure on what is happening and enables everyone to follow how much we are emitting each week. The people of NSW can then make decisions about their energy use that will immediately decrease the weekly figure, like buying green electricity or using less energy at home and work" he said.

"As greenhouse gas emissions remain in the atmosphere for a long time, it is critical we realise that this is a problem we must address now. Every week we delay action NSW contributes another 2 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions."

In what was believed to be a world first, earlier this year The °Climate Group introduced the Weekly Greenhouse Indicator in Victoria. The NSW Indicator is virtually identical although unlike Victoria, where comprehensive data on all natural gas use is provided, in NSW only gas used for electricity generation is available. This is expected to change next year with the establishment of a national gas market bulletin board.


"Surprisingly, information on emissions like this is not provided on a weekly basis anywhere else in the world," said Posner. "Here in Australia, as in other countries, the Federal Government releases an annual report. But that comes out a couple of years after the emissions. This information, while comprehensive and critical for policy planning and scientific assessment, is too slow for us to respond to in the manner that is necessary to tackle this problem."

"I hope everyone in NSW watches the Indicator and thinks about what they can do to make the weekly figure go down."

The °Climate Group would like to thank the Purves Environmental Fund for providing funding to enable this project to occur.

For more information contact Rupert Posner: rposner@theclimategroup.org

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