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This report details Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions trends to 2030. It analyses the factors driving emissions in each sector and estimates the effort needed to meet Australia's emissions reduction targets.

The report also analyses how different technology assumptions could impact emissions to 2030.

Key data and insights

Australia’s 2030 emissions reduction target is 26% to 28% below 2005 levels. We are expected to beat this target by at least 4 percentage points.

Under a scenario aligned with the Technology Investment Roadmap, Australia could beat its 2030 target by up to 9 percentage points using Paris budget accounting terms.

Australia’s 2030 target

The latest emissions projections show that Australia is expected to achieve a 30% reduction on 2005 levels by 2030. This is true for both:

  • our cumulative emissions using Paris budget accounting terms
  • a ‘point in time’ comparison of 2030 emissions against 2005 emissions.

The projected emissions in this report are lower than all previous year’s projections. Since 2018, projections of Australia’s cumulative emissions to 2030 have improved by 843 Mt CO₂-e (Figure 1). This is equivalent to taking Australia’s 14.9 million passenger vehicles off the road for more than 19 years.

Figure 1: Change in the cumulative emissions reduction task since 2008, 2030 target (26% below 2005 levels). Source: Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources

Bar chart showing the change in the 2030 cumulative emissions reduction task. The task goes from 3,394 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2008 to −148 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2021.

Tracking progress to the 2030 target

Australia measures progress towards its 2030 target against an emissions budget for the period 2021 to 2030. Based on a 26% to 28% reduction by 2030, our emissions budget for this period is 4,847 to 4,915 Mt CO₂-e.

Under current policies, cumulative emissions are projected to be 4,744 Mt CO₂-e from 2021 to 2030. This beats Australia’s emissions budget by 148 Mt CO₂-e (based on a 26% reduction target) or 80 Mt CO₂-e (based on a 28% target).

In this scenario, emissions will be 439 Mt CO₂-e in 2030. This is a 30% reduction on 2005 levels.

High technology scenario

As well as current policies, we estimated Australia’s 2030 emissions under a scenario aligned with the Technology Investment Roadmap. This scenario assumes:

  • Australia achieves the technology stretch goals of the Low Emissions Technology Statement 2021
  • increased use of other low emissions technologies.

Under this high technology scenario, emissions are projected to be 388 Mt CO₂-e per year in 2030. This is a 35% reduction on 2005 levels in Paris budget accounting terms, or a 38% point-in time reduction on 2005 levels (Figure 2).

Figure 2: Australia is forecast to reduce emissions by 30% to 35% by 2030. Source: Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources

Combined stacked area chart and line graph showing the 2030 emissions budget as the area below 2 straight lines. The straight lines represent the emissions reduction trajectory for the 26% and 28% reduction targets.

Methodology

The methodology document below explains how we made these projections. It describes key data inputs, assumptions, formulas and methods.

Read more

Contact us

Email emissions.projections@industry.gov.au

Please contact us if you experience any difficulty accessing these documents.