New Queensland Government statistics show a slowing of growth in carbon emissions, however the Newman Government is doing its best to end that improvement and push up power prices. Zac Luke reports.
QUEENSLAND Government statistics show the state’s overall carbon output has been consistently increasing since the start of the 21st century.
Net carbon emissions rose every year between 2000 to 2009, only dropping slightly in 2010.
Griffith University School of Science Professor Ian Lowe says this drop could be related to many households installing solar power while the previous government was offering incentives.
He is however firmly of the belief that is unlikely to continue:
"The enthusiasm of the Newman Government for energy-intensive economic activities like mining will probably see emissions grow in future."
Over the last 10 years, according to Professor Lowe, annual emissions have increased by more than 27 million tonnes, in line with population growth.
Professor Lowe is also of the opinion that, if the population continues to grow at current rates, improving end-use efficiency and reducing the carbon-intensity of energy supply are the only ways to stop emissions rising.
He says it is "unfortunate" the Newman Government is
"...ideologically opposed to both renewable energy and the Commonwealth Government's modest carbon price."
The figures clearly show the rate of carbon related pollution has slowed.
Emissions increased by more than 25 per cent over the last 10 years and 5 per cent over the last five years.
According to Queensland University of Technology Science and Engineering Faculty Professor Peter Grace the slowed growth in emissions is due to a decline in land-use change and forestry:
"The trend will only continue while the increase in energy emissions is lower than the decrease from land-use change and forestry."
Professor Lowe says increasing power prices and incentives to install solar power have slowed growth and have "eliminated the incentive for renewable energy", while the Queensland Government is "driving up electricity prices".
While people are increasingly buying more energy efficient appliances and light bulbs and using public transport he says there is no reduction in net emissions.
Professor Lowe says sustained population is a "matter of concern".
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