What it's about:
Australian greenhouse gas emissions have risen for the third successive year, driven by a gas boom, new data published by the Department of Environment and Energy revealed.
The country experienced a 1.5 percent increase in climate pollution in 2017, the data showed. Emissions increased across all sectors except electricity, but were especially large in the production and expansion of natural gases, The Guardian reports.
A 10.5 percent increase in emissions from producing, transporting and distributing fossil fuels stemmed from a 17.6 percent rise in natural
Australia's emissions are now greater than they were in 2012, prompting environmental groups to accuse the government of failing on climate policy.
Why it's noteworthy:
The government data was published just days after Australia recorded its hottest and driest April in 21 years.
Increased emissions will only add to global temperature rise, which could see already dry and arid parts of Australia suffer even further.
The Australian government recently delivered a budget without any mention of climate change policy or funding to reduce emissions. Critics say the Turnbull government has no long-term plan to tackle the impacts of climate change and lower emissions.
The likelihood of Australia meeting the Paris Climate Agreement commitments is poor, according to environmental groups. Blair Palese, CEO of global climate campaign group 350, said: "With numbers like these, Australia may as well not be signed up to Paris to act on climate because we’re making no progress at all."
The Australian government must alter its path and help fund clean, renewable energy initiatives if it is to make significant progress towards the 2030 goals, experts said. If it continues to support harmful processes, such as mining and fracking, emissions could spiral out of control, they warned.
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