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Summary

The Quarterly Update of the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory reports Australia’s latest greenhouse gas emissions.

This update provides estimates of:

  • national emissions up to the March quarter of 2021
  • emissions from the National Electricity Market up to the June quarter of 2021.

Quarterly emissions data

This interactive graph shows emissions by quarter from March 2000 to March 2021.

You can select data by sector. Mouse over and click to view actual emissions or trends for any quarter.


Source: Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (2021)

Annual emissions data

This interactive graph shows annual emissions by year from March 1990 to March 2021.

You can select data by sector, and see changes in emissions over several years. Mouse over and click to view emissions for any year.


Source: Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (2021)

Quarterly emissions data by gas

This interactive graph shows quarterly emissions by gas from 2000 to 2021


Source: Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (2021)

Annual emissions data by sector

This interactive graph shows annual emissions by sector from 1990 to 2021.

You can select data by year to see how sectoral contributions to total emissions have changed over time.


Source: Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (2021)

Emissions per capita and emissions per gross domestic product (GDP)

This interactive graph shows emissions per capita and emissions per dollar of real GDP. Mouse over and click to view emissions for any year.


Source: Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (2021)

Data insights

Emissions for the year to March 2021 are estimated to be 494.2 Mt carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e). This is 5.3% (27.8 Mt CO2-e) less than the previous year and is the lowest emission level recorded in the inventory.

Lower emissions this year reflect:

  • the continuing effects of COVID-19 restrictions on emissions from transport, which fell 13.2%
  • an 8.3% drop in fugitive emissions, partly due to reduced coal production and increased carbon capture and storage
  • ongoing reductions in emissions from electricity (down 5.6%).

These reductions were partially offset by increased emissions from the land and agriculture sectors.

In the year to March 2021, emissions per person and the emissions intensity of the economy were at their lowest levels in 31 years. Emissions per person were lower than 1990 by 47.8%, while the emissions intensity of the economy was 66.2% lower than in 1990.

Overall emissions in the March quarter rose 0.7% on a seasonally adjusted and weather normalised basis. 

Australia’s emissions have declined 23.4% since their peak in the year to June 2007. Emissions in the year to March 2021 were 20.8% below emissions in the year to June 2005 (the baseline year for Australia’s 2030 target under the Paris Agreement).

About the data

We compiled this report in using emissions estimation rules adopted under the Paris Agreement.

Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Accounts include the latest scientific evidence. We fulfil our international treaty commitments by submitting annual National Inventory Reports to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). A UNFCCC expert team reviews them each year for transparency, accuracy, completeness, comparability and consistency.

Contact us

Email nationalgreenhouseaccounts@industry.gov.au

If you experience any difficulty accessing this document, please contact us.

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