Where Victoria's emissions come from

The main source of Victoria’s emissions is burning fossil fuels – like coal, oil, and gas – for energy and transport. In 2021, the energy sector accounted for 97.5% of Victoria’s net emissions.1,2 This included electricity generation (52%), transport (23%), fuel combustion (20%), and fugitive emissions from fuels (2%). Other sectors contributing to Victoria’s emissions were agriculture (21%), industrial processes and product use (IPPU, 5%), and waste (3%).2

Victoria’s forests and natural systems absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) as trees grow and release greenhouse gases when trees are removed. In 2021, the land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) sector absorbed significantly more carbon dioxide (CO2) than it released. Overall, the sector absorbed around 26% of Victoria’s emissions in 2021

Victoria’s total net emissions are the sum of emissions from all sectors minus net absorption of emissions by the LULUCF sector. In 2021, the state’s total net emissions were 80.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2-e).

Victoria's greenhouse gas emissions by sector in 2021

Victoria's greenhouse gas emissions sector in 2021



Mt CO2-e







Industrial processes and product use



Fugitive emissions from fuels






Fuel combustion



Electricity generation









Who is generating Victoria’s emissions?

Households are responsible for most of Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions. Electricity use by the commercial services sector (including services like retail and wholesale trade, health care, education and accommodation) and the manufacturing sector also generate a lot of emissions.3

Scope 1 Plus Scope 2 emissions by Economic sector Victoria 2021

Scope 1 (in yellow) refers to emissions created by household or business activity. You produce scope 1 emissions when you drive your car, use a gas heater, throw out food (which then decomposes) or use a (refrigerant gas) leaky fridge or air conditioner.

Scope 2 (in teal) emissions are from electricity generated by power stations to meet the demands of households and businesses.

Victoria contributes around 17% of Australia’s emissions

Progress towards net zero emissions by 2045

Victoria has cut emissions by more than 30% since 2005

Victoria's net emissions reduction

Victoria’s total net emissions fell by 32.3% between 2005 and 2021, to reach 80.1 Mt CO2-e in 2021. This emissions reduction goes well beyond the state’s target to cut emissions 15-20% below 2005 levels by 2020.

Find out more about Victoria’s emissions reduction targets.

Change in Gross State Product (GSP), population and emissions – Victoria, 1990 to 2021

Victoria’s emissions declined by 27.6% between 1990 and 2021, even as the population increased by 49.5% and the economy grew by 126%.

Greenhouse gas emissions gross state product

Per capita emissions in Australia and by state and territory, 2021

Victoria’s per capita emissions in 2021 —dividing the state’s total net emissions by its population — were 12.2 tonnes (t) CO2-e per person. This was well below the national average (18.1 t CO2-e).

Per capita emissions in Australia and by state and territory in 2021

Most sectors have reduced emissions recently and since 2005

Between 2020 and 2021, Victoria’s emissions declined by 3.8%. This was mainly driven by falling emissions in transport (2.2 Mt CO2-e), electricity generation (0.3 Mt CO2-e), fugitive emissions from fuels (0.3 Mt CO2-e), and waste (0.1 Mt CO2-e) The LULUCF sector also absorbed 1.0 Mt CO2-e more emissions than it did in 2020. Only emissions from IPPU (0.4 Mt), agriculture (0.3 Mt) and fuel combustion (0.1 Mt) increased over this period.

Greenhouse gas emissions reductions

The main drivers behind these reductions were pandemic-related reductions in passenger vehicle use and domestic aviation, increasing forest cover as La Nina contributed to good growing conditions and growth in renewable electricity generation reducing demand for gas-powered generation.

Over a longer period, since 2005 emissions have declined for all sectors but IPPU. IPPU emissions have increased with more refrigerators and air-conditioners in homes and businesses, which slowly leak refrigerant gases over time.

Change in emissions between 2005 and 2021 by sector and energy sub-sector, Victoria

Change in emissions between 05 and 21 by energy sub sector Victoria

The electricity sector remains Victoria’s largest source of emissions - responsible for half of the state’s emissions in 2021. It is also decarbonising the fastest - contributing to almost half of the decrease in state emissions between 2005 and 2021. The LULUCF sector was responsible for over a quarter of the decrease in emissions over this period.

Greenhouse gas emissions resources

The Victorian Government publishes a report every year on Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions. The report uses data prepared by the Commonwealth Department of Climate Change Energy, Environment and Water (DCCEEW), in line with internationally agreed rules.

To learn more about Victoria’s emissions and how we are tracking towards net-zero emissions by 2045, use the following resources.


Previous editions of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report are available

Updates to the way emissions are calculated

DCCEEW regularly reviews and revises greenhouse gas data to ensure it is consistent with international methodologies, and reflects improved estimation methods and new sources of information as they become available.

To maintain consistency of data series across time, when revisions occur, past emissions estimates are recalculated for all years in the historical record to 1990.

This review process has resulted in revised emissions data for Victoria for the years 1990 to 2020 – particularly for the LULUCF and fuel combustion sectors. Consequently, data for 1990 to 2020 in the Victorian Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report 2021 differs from the Victorian Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report 2020.

Further details are available in Appendix A of the Victorian Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report 2021.

Contact us

Contact us via email climate.change@delwp.vic.gov.au


1. Victoria’s latest greenhouse gas emissions data, published in 2023, is for the 2021 reporting year. Federal data on emissions become available for use two years after each reporting year.

2. Shares of emissions from each sector are compared against Victoria’s total net emissions, which includes negative emissions from sequestration in the LULUCF sector. Using this approach, the shares of emissions from non-LULUCF sectors add up to more than 100%.

3.The economic sectors in this section reflect the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industry Classification (ANZSIC).

Page last updated: 16/11/23