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    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
    The Honourable Steven Miles

    New study reveals LNP’s carbon pollution plan for Queensland

    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
    The Honourable Steven Miles

    Wednesday, March 09, 2016

    New study reveals LNP’s carbon pollution plan for Queensland

    Queensland’s greenhouse gas emissions will rise a staggering 35 per cent by 2030, with potentially catastrophic outcomes for natural treasures like the Great Barrier Reef, according to new State Government research.

    Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles said the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection’s ‘Carbon Pollution Projections’ showed urgent action was required to address Queensland’s carbon emissions.

    “The carbon pollution projections to 2030 show Queensland’s carbon emissions will increase significantly by more than a third on 2013 levels if no new action is taken,’’ Dr Miles said.

    “This is very same period that the Federal Government plans to reduce the national emissions by between 26-28 per cent.

    “Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull needs to come clean on how the Commonwealth intends to achieve these targets. The federal government has no plan to drive carbon pollution reduction, other than their expensive and ineffective direct action scheme. They’ve already spent around $670m of taxpayer money to buy 51m tonnes of land sector greenhouse gas abatement, even though Queensland’s land clearing alone, at current rates, will undo that in just three years.”

    Released today (March 9), “Carbon Pollution Projections’ warned baseline emissions were projected to rise from 159.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2013 to 215.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2030, in the absence of any new steps to reduce Queensland’s carbon emissions.

    “This will have a profound effect on our natural environment, particularly the Great Barrier Reef,” Dr Miles said.

    “As Queenslanders are the custodians of iconic natural wonders, it is vital we understand how we are travelling as greenhouse gas emitters – with greenhouse gas emissions being the primary cause of climate change.”

    “The former LNP government left Queensland without a strategy for reducing our carbon pollution. That was reckless and irresponsible.

    “What’s more, they actively encouraged destructive rates of tree-clearing which has contributed directly to the increase in carbon pollution being generated in Queensland”.

    Queensland’s total carbon emissions have been on an upward trend since the mid-1990s but had reversed from around 2005 until 2013, due to changes in land clearing introduced by Labor, and a reduction in emissions from electricity generation. 

    “In the first two years of the LNP Government, annual tree clearing nearly doubled – up to nearly 300,000 hectares,’’ Dr Miles said.

    “That’s an area more than twice the size of Brisbane, or ten times the size of the city of Rockhampton[1].

    “Land clearing in Queensland is now releasing more stored carbon into the atmosphere than at any other time in the past eight years.” 

    Dr Miles said the Queensland Government was committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions, with the imminent introduction of new laws to Parliament a key plank in Labor’s strategy.

    “Labor has a track record of tackling the difficult issues head-on, and this will be no exception – our future depends on it,’’ Dr Miles said.

    Dr Miles said the benefit of EHP’s greenhouse gas emissions projections was that it was a “baseline” projection that showed how emissions would rise or fall in the absence of any intervention.

    “This gives a realistic picture of greenhouse gas emissions moving forward and doesn’t rely on assumptions about Queensland’s future economic activity, which can skew projections significantly.

    “For example, this approach indicates that although our greenhouse gas emissions were on a downward trend, we can anticipate a sharp increase in emissions to 2020, followed by a more gradual rise to 2030.

    "This Government accepts the overwhelming scientific consensus on the causes and consequences of climate change and knowing the emissions likely to be generated into the future is an important step in developing strategies for tackling carbon pollution” he said.

    The Carbon Pollution Projections assessment was available at

    [1]Based on local government area.


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