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Tasmanian Climate Change Office

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Tasmania's greenhouse gas emissions

On 19 April 2021 the Australian Government released the State and Territory Greenhouse Gas Inventories: 2019 (the latest figures).

You can read the full State and Territory Greenhouse Gas Inventories, as part of the National Greenhouse Accounts, on the Australian Government Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources website.

Latest figures

In 2019, Tasmania’s emissions were minus 1.68 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2-e). This is a drop of 108.6 per cent from 1990 levels.

The 2019 emissions for each reportable sector were:

  • Land Use, Change and Forestry (LULUCF): minus 10.04 Mt CO2-e
  • Waste: 0.39 Mt CO2-e
  • Industrial Processes and Product Use (IPPU): 1.69 Mt CO2-e
  • Agriculture: 2.40 Mt CO2-e
  • Energy: 3.88 Mt CO2-e, made up of:
    • Electricity generation: 0.33 Mt CO2-e
    • Transport: 1.80 Mt CO2-e
    • Direct combustion: 1.75 Mt CO2-e

Tasmania was the first Australian jurisdiction to achieve net zero emissions, and did so in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

A detailed report will be published here when it is released by the Minister. Download this information as a Fact Sheet (PDF 2.4MB).

Our emissions reduction target

  • Under the Climate Change (State Action) Act 2008, Tasmania has a legislated target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 60 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050. The Government has also committed to net zero emissions by 2050.
  • Based on the latest available data, Tasmania has achieved its commitment to net zero emissions by 2050 for the past four years in a row.

What are greenhouse gases?

Greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere and make the Earth warmer. Those with the most significant impact on global warming are water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. Other common greenhouse gases include ozone and chlorofluorocarbons.

How are emissions measured?

Each greenhouse gas varies in terms of its contribution to climate change. Global warming potentials are used as a relative measure of how much heat a greenhouse gas traps in the atmosphere. They compare the amount of heat trapped by a certain mass of each gas to the amount of heat trapped by a similar mass of carbon dioxide.

Using this method, greenhouse gases are combined into a single, consistent value of carbon dioxide equivalent or CO2-e.

What are carbon sinks?

A carbon, or emissions, sink removes more carbon than it emits. The removed carbon is stored, often in the form of growing vegetation.

How are emissions reported?

Each year, the Tasmanian Climate Change Office releases a report on Tasmania’s latest greenhouse gas emissions figures, which shows the State’s progress towards its emissions reduction target and monitors emissions by sector.

Tasmania's emissions are reported in accordance with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reporting framework for national greenhouse gas inventories.

Data sources

The report is compiled using data from the Australian Government's State and Territory Greenhouse Gas Inventories 2019 (STGGI). which is prepared as part of the National Inventory Report. The Australian Government submits the Inventories to meet Australia's annual reporting commitment under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol.

Under the UNFCCC, the National Inventory Report must report net emissions from the following sectors:

  • energy;
  • industrial processes and product use (IPPU);
  • agriculture;
  • land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF); and
  • waste.

The National Inventory Report runs two years behind the current date, and represents the most recent official data in Australia on annual emissions. The current National Inventory Report details estimates of Australia’s emissions for the period 1990 to 2019. The year 2019 refers to the Australian financial year 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019.

Each year, the Australian Government updates how it calculates the national emissions figures, updating all the figures from 1990 to the previous reporting year. The figures are recalculated to ensure that they are accurate, complete, and can be compared with reports from other countries. This means the latest accounts cannot be compared with those released in previous years.

More information is available from the Australian Government's website.

Learn more about Tasmania's emissions, carbon storage, and clean energy on our Resources page.