National Greenhouse Gas Inventory: December 2019

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Quartely Update
Publication Date: 
May 2020

Australia’s National Greenhouse Accounts are made up of a series of comprehensive reports and databases that estimate, and account for, Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. These publications fulfil Australia’s international and domestic inventory reporting requirements. The Quarterly Update of Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory reports on the latest estimates of Australia’s national greenhouse gas inventory.

This Quarterly Update provides:

  • estimates of Australia’s national inventory of greenhouse gas emissions used by the Australian Government to acquit its Paris Agreement target up to the December quarter of 2019
  • emissions from the National Electricity Market (NEM)[1] up to the March quarter 2020

Key data

National emission levels[2] for the December quarter 2019 declined 0.5 per cent or 0.6 Mt CO2-e on the previous quarter, on a seasonally adjusted, weather normalised basis[3].

Emissions for the year to December 2019 are estimated to be 532.5 Mt CO2-e, down 0.9 per cent or 5.0 Mt CO2-e on the previous year. Ongoing reductions in emissions from electricity (2.9 per cent or 5.3 Mt CO2-e) and the effects of the drought on agriculture (5.8 per cent or 4.2 Mt CO2-e) dominated increases in other sectors. Total export industries increased by 3.0 per cent (6.1 Mt CO2-e), mainly reflecting the increases in LNG exports (up 11.0 per cent).

Australia’s emissions have declined by 16.1 per cent since the peak in the year to June 2007. The year to December emissions were 2.4 per cent below emissions for the same period in 2000 and 13.7 per cent below emissions in 2005.

In the year to December 2019, emissions per capita and the emissions intensity of the economy were at their lowest levels in 30 years. Emissions per capita were lower than 1990 by 41.2 per cent while the emissions intensity of the economy was 63.4 per cent lower than in 1990 (Figure P1).

Figure P1: Emissions per capita and per dollar of real GDP, year to December 1990 to 2019

See text above and below for a description of data in figure 1
Source: Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources

Emissions from the electricity sector are experiencing a long term decline, down 17.1 per cent from the peak recorded in the year to June 2009.

Emissions in the NEM decreased by 0.7 per cent on a seasonally adjusted and weather normalised basis compared with the previous quarter. Generation from renewables increased 4.5 per cent due to increases of 2.9 per cent for wind and 13.0 per cent for hydro generation.


  1. The NEM includes grid electricity in the Eastern and South Eastern states and accounts for approximately 84 per cent of total electricity estimates in the year to March 2020.
  2. National emissions level are inclusive of all sectors of the economy, including Land Use, Land use Change and Forestry (LULUCF).
  3. Unadjusted’, ‘seasonally adjusted, weather normalised’ and ‘trend’ are defined in Section 5 - Technical notes.

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See also

Read Australia's National Inventory Report: 2018