Government data shows electricity generation from coal hasn’t changed significantly in the last three years, slipping only marginally from 65.3 per cent to 64.9 per cent.
Renewable power generation, on the other hand, has increased from 9.6 per cent to 12 per cent.
Climate Council chief executive officer Amanda McKenzie said the true test of a country’s climate policy is whether or not fossil fuel emissions were going down, and the new data proves Australia is making little progress on tackling climate change.
“In Australia, emissions from the electricity sector increased 3 per cent last year. But in the US, emissions from the electricity sector fell 18 per cent in 2014 and coal-fired power generation fell from 39 per cent in 2014 to 33 per cent in 2015,” Ms McKenzie said.
“When electricity generation from coal has barely moved in Australia, it’s a sign of two things. One, the renewable energy industry is not growing at anywhere near the rate we need it to in order to tackle climate change. That’s because of the chopping and changing of policy. We’ve got enough renewable energy resources to power the country 500-times over – but we are not capitalising on it.
‘And two, it’s a sign there is our climate policy is not robust enough to reduce emissions at the source.”
Australia must introduce climate policy that reduces its fossil fuel emissions, according to Ms McKenzie, if the country is to effectively manage climate change and protect the Great Barrier Reef.