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 2018

Key findings:

I. Victoria’s total net emissions in 2018 were 102.2 Mt CO2-e. These consisted of emissions from:

  • electricity generation (46.5 Mt CO2-e)
  • transport (23.5 Mt CO2-e)
  • direct combustion (17.7 Mt CO2-e)
  • agriculture (15.7 Mt CO2-e)
  • industrial processes and product use (3.9 Mt CO2-e)
  • fugitive emissions from fuels (3.9 Mt CO2-e)
  • waste (2.6 Mt CO2-e)
  • land use, land use change and forestry (-11.4 Mt CO2-e)

II. Victoria’s total net emissions fell by 21.6 Mt CO2-e (17.5%) between 2005 and 2018

  • Key contributors to this reduction were electricity generation, which saw emissions fall by 17.1 Mt CO2-e and the LULUCF sector, which increased net sequestration by 6.7 Mt CO2-e.
  • Between 2005 and 2018, the emissions intensity of the Victorian economy declined from 0.40 to 0.24 kilograms CO2-e per dollar of Gross State Product. Per capita emissions decreased from 24.8 to 15.8 tonnes CO2-e.

The report is structured as follows:

Presents the trend in Victoria’s emissions over the period 1990 to 2018, 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 2018

Graph showing total net emissions and emissions by sector – Victoria, 1990 to 2018Source: Australian Greenhouse Emissions Information System (Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources 2020b)

Per capita emissions in Australia and by State/Territory, 2018

Graph of per capita emissions in Australia and by State/Territory, 2018

Source: Analysis based on State and Territory Greenhouse Gas Inventories 2018 (Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources 2020e) and Australian Demographic Statistics 2019 (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2020)

Percentage change in real GSP and emissions intensity – Victoria, 1990 to 2018

Graph of Percentage change in real GSP and emissions intensity – Victoria, 1990 to 2018

Source: Analysis based on State and Territory Greenhouse Gas Inventories 2018 (Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources 2020e) and Australian National Accounts: State Accounts, 2017-18 (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2019).

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, 2018

Graph of Victorian emissions by sector and energy sub-sectors, 2018

Source: Australian Greenhouse Emissions Information System (Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources 2020b)

Emissions by sector – 1990, 2005 and 2018

Graph of emissions by sector – 1990, 2005 and 2018

Source: Australian Greenhouse Emissions Information System (Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources 2020b)

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, 2018

Graph of Scope 1 emissions by ANZSIC sector – Victoria, 2018

Source: Australian Greenhouse Emissions Information System (Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources 2020b)

How are Victoria’s emissions tracking?

In 2018, Victoria’s emissions were 5.6% below 2017 levels; and 17.5% 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 2018 were electricity generation, which saw emissions fall by 17.1 million tonnes, and the Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry sector (LULUCF) which increased net sequestration by 6.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2-e).

Why does the latest report only include emissions data to 2018?

Because 2018 is the latest year for which official greenhouse gas emissions data is available.

Emissions data is prepared by the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources. 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 2018, Victoria contributed 19% of Australia’s total emissions. This placed Victoria as the third highest emitting jurisdiction behind QLD (32%) and NSW (25%).

Victoria’s per capita emissions of 15.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (t CO2-e) in 2018 were less than the national average of 21.5, lower than the NT, WA, Queensland and NSW, but higher than Tasmania, the ACT and SA.

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 Industry, Science, Energy and Resources. Both sources provide data at a state and territory level from 1990 to 2018.

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 2018 shows that the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in Victoria were electricity generation (46.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent or 45% of total net emissions); transport (23.5 million tonnes, 23%); direct combustion of fuels (17.7 million tonnes, 17%); and agriculture (15.7 million tonnes, 15%).

Why does the 2018 greenhouse gas emissions report present sectoral emissions data in two different ways?

The report presents information on sectoral emissions in two 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 period ends in 2020 and UNFCCC accounting is used to track progress towards 2030 targets under its successor, the Paris Agreement.

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 2018 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 2017 greenhouse gas emissions report and the 2018 report?

The Commonwealth Department of the Industry, Science, Energy and Resources 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.

Why has the naming convention of the greenhouse gas report titles changed?

The naming convention of titles has been updated so that the year cited reflects the reporting year (new style) rather than the publishing year (previous style). Thus, the current Victorian Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report 2018 is published in 2020 but covers the 2018 reporting year.

Page last updated: 10/12/20