A sharp slowdown in the use of transport during the pandemic has helped cut the nation’s carbon emissions to their lowest levels in three decades, as the Morrison government rejects calls to mandate deeper cuts by 2050.
Transport emissions fell to 19.2 million tonnes in the three months to the end of June as the coronavirus crisis grounded flights, closed workplaces and restricted movement.
But the federal government’s latest figures also show a slight rebound in industrial emissions since March after a fall earlier this year, revealing the sudden changes in economic activity and greenhouse gas output through the pandemic.
The official figures showed emissions fell to 513.4 million tonnes in the year to June, down from 529.5 million the previous year, an annual fall of 3 per cent and the lowest level since 1998.
Energy Minister Angus Taylor will release the report on Monday with a claim the results prove the government can “meet and beat” its commitments as the results are ahead of earlier forecasts for 2020.