Queensland named biggest polluter despite renewables plan

Smoke pours from smoke stack (safeguard
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A third of Australia’s carbon emissions are expected to come from Queensland by 2030, according to the Australian Government’s recently released emissions projections report.

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Despite the Queensland Government announcing a new 70% by 2032 renewable energy target last year, the Sunshine State is expected to have Australia’s most polluting energy system by the end of the decade.

The Australian Government report found Queensland is on track to be 58% renewable by 2030, while Tasmania and South Australia will be close to 100%, and New South Wales, including the ACT, will edge towards 90%. 

“The latest projections by the Australian Government paint a clear picture that Queensland is not moving fast enough to roll out renewable energy and shift from a climate action laggard to leader,” Solar Citizens deputy director Stephanie Gray said.

“Looking at the data we see that Queensland is expected to produce three times more carbon pollution from our electricity sector than New South Wales by 2030—even though their population is much greater. 

“Right now high global coal and gas prices are driving up our power bills and causing cost of living pain for Queenslanders. We have some of the country’s best solar and wind resources so we should be capitalising on this advantage and building more clean energy plants that can free us from globally tight fossil fuel markets. 

“The Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan announced in September was a big step in the right direction, but to protect our hip pockets, environment and way of life there’s every reason to move faster.” 

The Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan committed to:

  • Repower state-owned coal plants to renewable energy hubs by 2035;
  • Legislate a 70% Renewable Energy Target by 2032, and a 80% target by 2035; 
  • Spend an extra $2.5 billion on building publicly-owned renewables, taking the State’s total Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs fund to $4.5 billion.

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Due to the timing of Australia’s emissions projections 2022 report, the Victorian Government’s commitment to set a new 95% by 2035 renewable energy target was not taken into account in the calculations. If it were, the figures would likely point to Queensland producing an even greater share of the country’s electricity emissions by 2030. 

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