The Climate Change Act 2017 establishes a target of net zero emissions by 2050.

The Act also requires the preparation of annual greenhouse gas emissions reports for Victoria. In accordance with the Act, emissions reports include an overview of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions, and the extent to which these emissions have changed compared with 2005 levels (the reference year for interim emissions reduction targets under the Act).

Victorian Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report 2019

Key findings:

I. Victoria’s total net emissions in 2017 were 110 Mt CO2-e. These consisted of emissions from:

  • electricity generation (56.1 Mt CO2-e)
  • transport (22.7 Mt CO2-e)
  • direct combustion (18.1 Mt CO2-e)
  • agriculture (14.9 Mt CO2-e)
  • industrial processes and product use (3.8 Mt CO2-e)
  • fugitive emissions from fuels (3.3 Mt CO2-e)
  • waste (2.6 Mt CO2-e)
  • land use, land use change and forestry (-11.2 Mt CO2-e)

II. Victoria’s total net emissions fell by 12.6 Mt CO2-e (10.3%) between 2005 and 2017

  • Key contributors to this reduction were the LULUCF sector, which increased net sequestration by 6.0 Mt CO2-e, and electricity generation, which saw emissions fall by 7.4 Mt CO2-e.
  • Between 2005 and 2017, the emissions intensity of the Victorian economy declined from 0.41 to 0.27 kilograms CO2-e per dollar of Gross State Product. Per capita emissions decreased from 24.6 to 17.4 tonnes CO2-e.

The report is structured as follows:

Presents the trend in Victoria’s emissions over the period 1990 to 2017, Victoria’s contribution to national emissions, and Victorian emissions per capita and per unit of Gross State Product (GSP).

Total net emissions and emissions by sector – Victoria, 1990 to 2017

Source: Australian Greenhouse Emissions Information System (Department of the Environment and Energy 2019a)

Per capita emissions in Australia and by State/Territory, 2017

Source: Analysis based on State and Territory Greenhouse Gas Inventories 2017 (Commonwealth of Australia 2019a) and Australian Demographic Statistics 2018 (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018a)

Percentage change in real GSP and emissions intensity – Victoria, 1990 to 2017

Source: Analysis based on State and Territory Greenhouse Gas Inventories 2017 (Commonwealth of Australia 2019a) and Australian National Accounts: State Accounts, 2017-18 (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018b).

Presents Victoria's emissions by sector using Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) sector categories. It describes historical trends in emissions in each sector and the key drivers of these trends.

Victorian emissions by sector and energy sub-sectors, 2017

Source: Australian Greenhouse Emissions Information System (Department of the Environment and Energy 2019a)

Emissions by sector – 1990, 2005 and 2017

Source: Australian Greenhouse Emissions Information System (Department of the Environment and Energy 2019a)

Presents Victoria's emissions by economic sector based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industry Classification (ANZSIC).

Scope 1 emissions by ANZSIC sector – Victoria, 2017

Source: Australian Greenhouse Emissions Information System (Department of the Environment and Energy 2019c)

How are Victoria’s emissions tracking?

In 2017, Victoria’s emissions were 0.9% below 2016 levels; and 10.3%  below 2005 levels (the reference year prescribed in the Climate Change Act 2017 for setting interim emissions reduction targets).

Key contributors to the reduction between 2005 and 2017 were the Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry sector (LULUCF) which increased net sequestration by 6.0 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2-e) and electricity generation which saw emissions fall by 7.4 million tonnes.  

Why does the 2019 greenhouse gas emissions report only include emissions data to 2017?

Because 2017 is the latest year for which official greenhouse gas emissions data is available.  

Emissions data is prepared by the Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Energy. There is a lag of around 2 years due to the time required for data to be collated, analysed and reported.

How do Victoria’s emissions compare with the rest of Australia?

In 2017, Victoria contributed 20.7% of Australia’s total emissions. This placed Victoria as the third highest emitting jurisdiction behind QLD (30.3%) and NSW (24.7%).

Victoria’s per capita emissions of 17.4 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (t CO2-e) in 2017 were less than the national average of 21.7, lower than WA, Queensland and the NT, but higher than Tasmania, the ACT, SA and NSW.

What are the sources of Victorian greenhouse gas emissions data?  

Data for the report was sourced from State and Territory Greenhouse Gas Inventories and the Australian Greenhouse Emissions Information System database, both of which are prepared by the Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Energy. Both sources provide data at a state and territory level from 1990 to 2017.  

Economic, population and sectoral statistics used in the report were obtained from sources including the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Australian Energy Market Operator, and the Clean Energy Regulator. These statistics were used to calculate emissions intensity measures (such as emissions per capita) and to obtain insights into trends in Victoria’s emissions.

What are the main sources of Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions?

Data for 2017 shows that the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in Victoria were electricity generation (56.1  million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent or 51%  of total net emissions); transport (22.7 million tonnes, 21%); direct combustion of fuels (18.1 million tonnes, 16%); and agriculture (14.9  million tonnes, 14%).

Why does the 2019 greenhouse gas emissions report present sectoral emissions data in two different ways?

The report presents information on sectoral emissions in 2 forms:

Sectors defined according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reporting framework with disaggregation in the energy sector.  The IPCC framework is the standard approach used globally by governments to compile official national greenhouse gas inventories. The sectors include:

  • Energy
    • Electricity generation
    • Direct combustion
    • Transport
    • Fugitive emissions from fuels
  • Industrial processes and product use
  • Waste
  • Agriculture
  • Land Use, Land-Use Change, and Forestry (LULUCF).

Sectors of the economy categorised according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC). These sectors include:

  • Electricity, gas, water and waste services  
  • Manufacturing
  • Commercial services
  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing
  • Transport, postal and warehousing
  • Mining
  • Construction
  • Residential

The report includes data by ANZSIC sector to provide the Victorian community with information on how each sector contributes to the state’s total emissions.  It does so by accounting for the direct and indirect emissions associated with a sector. For example, for the residential sector – direct emissions include those from transport, gas for heating and cooking, and emissions associated with waste management services; while indirect emissions include those associated with electricity.

Why are Victoria’s emissions reported using United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) instead of Kyoto Protocol accounting?

UNFCCC accounting has been used rather than Kyoto Protocol accounting because it provides a more comprehensive record of net emissions from the Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) sector. It is expected the UNFCCC accounting will be increasingly used going forwards given that the Kyoto Protocol was established back in 1997.  In 2017, total net Victorian emissions using UNFCCC  accounting were 110.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent compared with 111.2  using the Kyoto Protocol system.  

Does the Victorian greenhouse gas emissions report include emissions associated with electricity generated interstate but consumed in Victoria?

No. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change emissions reporting conventions require that emissions are reported in the geographic region where they are produced. Consequently, the 2019 greenhouse gas emissions report does not include the emissions associated with electricity that is generated interstate but imported into Victoria. Consistent with this approach, the report includes emissions arising from electricity that is generated in Victoria, but which is exported to other states.

Why has Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry data changed between the 2019 greenhouse gas emissions report and the 2018 report?

The Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Energy prepares greenhouse gas emissions data in accordance with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change reporting guidelines on greenhouse gas inventories and revises data annually to reflect improved estimation methods. These annual revisions result in changes to the modelling framework used to estimate emissions in the Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry sector. For consistency purposes, the full data series for the period since 1990 is revised when changes are made.

The Victorian Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report 2018 included projected emissions to 2020. Why are projected emissions not included in the 2019 greenhouse gas emissions report?

The Victorian Government is updating emissions projections as part of the evidence needed to set interim emissions reduction targets for 2021-25 and 2026-30 required under the Climate Change Act 2017. Updated emissions projections for 2020 will be made public next year when this work is completed.

Page last updated: 28/11/19