A new report released by Deloitte Access Economics entitled ‘Emissions metrics – Australia’s carbon footprint in the G20,’ suggests that the popular measure of carbon emissions per capita fails to simply communicate the ongoing need to grow economic prosperity and improve world living standards. A better measure is carbon emissions per unit of production (expressed as GDP).

Deloitte’s report shows that Australia’s performance as measured in carbon emissions per unit of GDP is better than the G20 average. Over time, Australia’s emissions intensity has reduced, and at a faster rate than the G20 average.

The research is supported by Origin, with Managing Director, Grant King, commenting: “The countries comprising the G20 are responsible for 76 per cent of global carbon emissions and 85 per cent of global GDP. How the world measures and seeks to improve carbon efficiency will be critical to both climate change action and ongoing global growth and development, including improving living standards in developing countries.”

“Global action must move the emissions intensity curve to the left; that is, reduce the carbon emissions required to produce each unit of GDP, of wealth, of prosperity.”

“All countries must contribute to doing this, but may contribute in different ways. Energy is a large producer of carbon emissions, but is also essential to modern life. It must be provided to all people of the world – reliably, at an affordable cost and in an environmentally responsible way. Balancing these often competing objectives will be challenging,” said Mr King.

APPEA Chief Executive David Byers has also commented on the report: “This report is an important contribution to debate on energy policy and climate policy.”

“The G20 aims to enhance global prosperity while also reducing global emissions. To achieve these goals, energy policy and climate policy must recognise the link between emissions and GDP, as well as the differing roles of various nations.”

“Australia’s role as an exporter of flexible and reliable lower-emissions energy – in the form of LNG – means it can help drive economic growth as well as reductions in emissions.”

“Because natural gas is a much cleaner-burning fuel than traditional energy sources, exporting natural gas to the world and using more natural gas domestically are among the most meaningful contributions Australia can make to reducing global greenhouse emissions.”

Read the full Deloitte Access Economics Report: ‘Emissions metrics – Australia’s carbon footprint in the G20 online.

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