Dimension: Protect, repair and manage the environment
- Proportion of reduction in Australia’s net greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels
- Renewable share of electricity generation
Why does this matter
Around the world, action to achieve net zero emissions has accelerated. This transformation is the most significant shift in the world’s economy since the industrial revolution. It is changing the value of countries’ natural endowments, disrupting trade patterns, creating new markets, requiring heightened adaptability and rewarding innovation.
Australia is among the countries best positioned to benefit from this transformation. Our abundance of sun, wind and land means Australia can generate large volumes of cheap electricity to power our homes and industries, and to export. Reducing emissions and growing new low-carbon industries will be key to realising this economic opportunity. The costs of inaction, or delaying action will far outweigh any costs of efficient mitigation.
Has there been progress
In Australia, annual greenhouse gas emissions have fallen by 24.7 per cent since June 2005 (the baseline year for Australia’s 2030 target under the Paris Agreement), however emissions per capita are higher than the OECD average. Substantial further progress needs to be made to reach Australia’s legislated commitment to reduce emissions by 43 per cent by 2030.
Recent declines have been driven largely by land use, land-use change and the forestry sector becoming a net carbon sink rather than a net source, along with the rapidly increasing share of renewables in electricity generation.
Electricity generated from renewable energy has increased from 7.7 per cent in 2001‑02 to 30.9 per cent in 2021‑22. This has been driven by an increase in electricity generated from wind from 0.2 per cent to 10.7 per cent and solar from less than 0.1 per cent to 12.8 per cent over the period. Australia’s electricity system is currently undergoing a historic transformation to reach the target of 82 per cent renewable energy by 2030.