Australia's greenhouse gas emissions have fallen to a 22-year low as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, the government revealed in a new update on Monday. According to the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory update released by the government, emissions of greenhouse gases in Australia are estimated to be 518 million tonnes in the 2019-20 financial year, reports Xinhua news agency.
It is Australia's lowest emissions output since 1998. The biggest fall came between April and June, the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia, when emissions were 10 million tonnes lower than in the same period in 2019.
Effect of COVID-19 Restrictions
The biggest drops in emissions were in the transport sector. Aviation fuel consumption was down 79 percent and petrol consumption down 26.7 percent. Angus Taylor, Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, said that the unsustainable COVID-19 restrictions on travel "substantially reduced emissions".
"With the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions being felt across the economy, emissions have reduced as expected," he said in a statement. Emissions from electricity fell 4.2 percent as a result of increased usage of renewable sources of energy.
Reduced Agricultural Emissions
Agriculture emissions were down 5.5 percent largely due to the drought's impact on livestock populations. The data also confirmed that Australia's emissions in the year to March were 14.3 percent below 2005 levels. The Australian government has committed to reducing emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2030 under the Paris climate agreement.