Victorian Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report 2018

The Climate Change Act 2017 establishes the state’s target of net zero emissions by 2050. To report on progress in achieving this target, it also requires the preparation of annual greenhouse gas emissions reports for Victoria.

Victorian emissions reports must 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 emissions reduction targets).

The report also provides a projection of Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions to 2020 to track progress against the Victorian Government’s target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15 to 20% below 2005 levels by 2020. It indicates that Victoria is on track to meeting this target.

Key findings:

  1. Victoria’s net emissions in 2016 were 114 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2-e)
    • These consisted of emissions from electricity generation (52% of net emissions), transport (19.5%), direct combustion (16.2%), agriculture (12.2%), industrial processes and product use (3.6%), fugitive emissions (2.8%) and waste (2.2%).
  2. Victoria’s emissions fell by 13.8 Mt CO2-e (10.8%) between 2005 and 2016
    • Key contributors to this reduction were the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) sector, which increased sequestration by 9.3 Mt CO2-e (67% of the change), and electricity generation, which saw emissions fall by 4.3 Mt CO2-e (31% of the change).
    • From 2005 to 2016, the emissions intensity of the Victorian economy declined by almost one third, from 0.43 to 0.30 kt CO2-e per million dollars of Gross State Product. Per capita emissions decreased by more than a quarter from 26 to 18 t CO2-e.
  3. Victoria’s 2020 emissions are projected to be 104.5 Mt CO2-e, 18.2% below 2005 levels
    • Victoria is well on track to achieving its 2020 emissions reduction target of 15-20% below 2005 levels by 2020.
    • The projected reduction in emissions in 2020 is primarily due to a projected 14.9 Mt CO2-e reduction in electricity generation emissions.

The report is structured as follows:

Presents the trend in Victoria’s emissions over the period 1990 to 2016, 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 2016

Graph showing total net greenhouse gas emissions and emissions by sector in Victoria 1990 to 2016

Per capita emissions in Australia and by State/Territory, 2016

Graph showing per capita greenhouse gas emissions in Australia and by state and territory 2016

Percentage change in real GSP and emissions intensity – Victoria, 1990 to 2016

Graph showing percentage change in real gsp and greenhouse gas emissions intensity in Victoria 1990 to 2016

Presents Victorian 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, 2016

Graph showing Victorian greenhouse gas emissions by sector and energy subsectors 2016

Emissions by sector – 1990, 2005 and 2016

Graph showing Victorian greenhouse gas emissions by sector 1990 2005 and 2016

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

Scope 1 emissions by ANZSIC sector – Victoria, 2016

Graph showing scope 1 emissions by anzsic sector in Victoria 2016

Presents emissions projections for Victoria to 2020.

Victoria’s historical and projected emissions

Victoria's historical and projected emissions 1990 to 2020

1. How are Victoria’s emissions tracking?

In 2016, Victoria’s emissions were 11% below 2005 levels (the reference year for emissions reduction targets).

2. Why does the Victorian greenhouse gas emissions report only include emissions to 2016?

2016 is the latest year for which official data on greenhouse gas emissions is available.

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

In 2016, Victoria contributed 21.7 per cent of Australia’s total emissions. This placed Victoria as the third highest emitting jurisdiction behind QLD (29.0 per cent) and NSW (25.1 per cent).

Victoria’s per capita emissions of 18.4 t CO2-e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) in 2016 were less than the national average (21.7 t CO2-e), lower than WA, Queensland and the NT, but higher than Tasmania, the ACT, SA and NSW.

4. How is Victoria tracking against the Victorian government’s emissions reduction targets?

The Victorian government has set a target to reduce Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions to 15-20 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020. The Victorian greenhouse gas emissions report projects that the state’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 will be 18.2% below 2005 levels.

5. Why has the greenhouse gas emissions report been published?

The Climate Change Act 2017 requires publication of an annual greenhouse gas emission report for Victoria. The report provides important information for the Victorian community regarding progress in reducing the state’s greenhouse gas emissions.

6. What is the source 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 (DoEE). Both sources provide data at a state and territory level over the period 1990 to 2016.  Economic, population and sectoral statistics are from different sources such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Australian Energy Market Operator, and the Clean Energy Regulator. These statistics were used to calculate emissions intensity measures and to obtain insights into trends in Victoria’s emissions.

7. Why does the Victorian greenhouse gas emissions report present sectoral emissions data in two different ways?

The report presents information on sectoral emissions in two forms:

i) Sectors defined according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reporting framework, with disaggregation of data in the energy sector. The IPCC framework is the standard approach used globally by governments to compile official national greenhouse gas inventories. The sectors that are included in the report following this framework are:

  • 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).

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

  • Electricity, gas and water supply
  • 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 emissions from transport usage, the consumption of gas for heating and cooking, and emissions associated with waste management services; while indirect emissions include emissions associated with the residential sector’s use of electricity.

8. Why are Victorian emissions reported using United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) accounting instead of Kyoto Protocol?

UNFCCC accounting has been used rather than Kyoto Protocol (KP) accounting because it includes a more comprehensive record of net emissions from the Land Use, Land Use Change, and Forestry (LULUCF) sector. Given the passage of time since the Kyoto Protocol was established (1997), it is also anticipated that the UNFCCC accounting provisions will increasingly be a focus for reporting in the future. In 2016, total Victorian emissions under UNFCCC accounting were 1.2 Mt CO2-e lower than emissions recorded under KP accounting provisions.

9. Does the Victorian greenhouse gas emissions report include emissions associated with electricity imports?

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

10. How was the 2020 emissions projection produced?

The 2020 emissions projection was made using a method consistent with that used by the Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Energy (DoEE) in preparing 2017 national emissions projections.

Projections for electricity generation, transport and agriculture are based on the 2017 DoEE emissions projections for Victoria. The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) updated the DoEE projections for electricity generation projections by taking account of actual volumes of electricity generation in Victoria in 2017 and 2018.

DoEE emissions projections were not available for direct combustion, fugitive emissions from fuels, industrial processes and product use and waste. Consequently, DELWP produced projections for these sectors/sub-sectors using information on trends in the activities that drive emissions in these sectors/sub-sectors in Victoria.

Land Use, Land Use Change, and Forestry (LULUCF) emissions were projected by separately analysing historical emissions trends in each LULUCF sub-category. This established the drivers of emissions in each sub-category and identified the factors that are likely to drive emissions trends to 2020.