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Tasmania is a global leader in mitigating climate change. The Tasmanian Government currently has a policy target of net zero emissions by 2050, which we have met four years in a row.
This year, the Tasmanian Government is also undertaking a review of the Climate Change (State Action) Act 2008. A key focus of this review will be to set a more ambitious net zero emissions target for Tasmania.
In 2018 (the latest available data), Tasmania had the lowest emissions per person in Australia, at minus 4.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent greenhouse gases, known as CO2-e. The national average is 21.5 tonnes of CO2-e.
In 2018, Tasmania's emissions were minus 2.19 megatonnes. This is a drop of 111 per cent from 1990.
Sources of Tasmania’s emissions by sector and energy sub-sectors in 2018 were:
Each year, the Tasmanian Climate Change Office releases a report on Tasmania’s latest greenhouse gas emissions. The report is available on our website (www.climatechange.tas.gov.au). The report runs two years behind the current date and represents the most recent official data in Australia. Tasmania's emissions are reported in accordance with the IPCC reporting framework for national greenhouse gas inventories.
Electricity generation accounts for 6 per cent of Tasmania’s emissions excluding LULUCF. In contrast, emissions from electricity generation account for more than half of Victoria’s total net emissions.
Tasmania has an enviable renewable energy profile. We are 100 per cent self-sufficient in renewable energy and have a commitment to generate 200 per cent of our energy needs from renewable energy by 2040, which means Tasmania will double its renewable energy production. The Tasmanian Government is also fast-tracking a renewable hydrogen industry in Tasmania, with the goal of using locally-produced renewable hydrogen in Tasmania by 2022, and commercially exporting clean hydrogen by 2030.
We can reduce emissions associated with electricity generation by reducing the amount of electricity government, industry, businesses, and households use.
Improved energy efficiency can lower emissions, as well as reduce electricity bills, and improve the health and wellbeing of Tasmanians.
Direct combustion of fossil fuels for stationary energy accounts for approximately 21 per cent of Tasmania’s emissions (excluding LULUCF). Direct combustion includes emissions from: burning coal, gas, agricultural waste or forestry residue to generate heat, steam or pressure for manufacturing industries and construction; agriculture, forestry and fishing operations; commercial operations; and burning wood or gas for household heating and cooking.
Opportunities to reduce emissions from the direct combustion of fossil fuels include electrification and fuel switching to bioenergy to replace natural gas and coal fired boilers in commercial and industrial applications, and the use of heat pumps to replace residential wood and gas heating.
Transport accounts for 19 per cent of Tasmania’s emissions (excluding LULUCF). The majority (94 per cent) of transport emissions come from road transportation (made up of cars: 58 per cent, heavy duty trucks and buses: 23 per cent, and light commercial vehicles: 19 per cent). Reducing emissions from transport involves transitioning to technologies that improve efficiency; fuel switching to low and zero emissions sources, such as battery electric vehicles, renewable hydrogen fuel cell technologies and biofuels; and supporting the transition to alternative means of transport such as walking, cycling or public transport.
Agriculture is a key growth sector in Tasmania’s economy. Currently, the sector accounts for 28 per cent of Tasmania’s emissions (excluding LULUCF). The majority (71 per cent) of these emissions comes from enteric fermentation (digestive processes that result in methane production), mainly from cattle and sheep.
Emissions from agriculture can be reduced by improving soil carbon through regenerative farming practices and using precision agricultural technologies. There are also promising trials underway to include seaweed in the feed of livestock which may significantly reduce methane emissions from enteric fermentation.
Forestry is a well-established industry in Tasmania, which provides jobs and large-scale export opportunities. Tasmania’s forests act as a carbon sink, which offsets the majority of the State’s greenhouse gas emissions. Projected climate changes mean it will be important to sustainably manage our current forests and plantations in order to offset atmospheric greenhouse gases.
The use of wood products that store carbon for long periods, such as in building construction applications, can sequester carbon for longer. This has the additional benefit of replacing more emissions-intensive building products such as concrete and steel.
Emissions from industrial processes and product use (IPPU) account for 21 per cent of Tasmania’s emissions (excluding LULUCF).
IPPU includes emissions from: the calcination of carbonate compounds (eg cement, lime or glass production); carbon when used as a chemical reductant (eg aluminium, ferromanganese and zinc production); and the production and use of synthetic gases such as hydrofluorocarbons (eg refrigeration, air conditioning and solvents).
Emissions are produced by the decomposition of organic waste in landfills, and from the release of greenhouse gases during the treatment of wastewater. Emissions from waste account for 4 per cent of Tasmania’s emissions, excluding LULUCF.