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Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Although Australia only generates 1.5% of the worlds greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions we are one of the biggest polluters on a per capita basis. Greenhouse gas emissions, principally carbon dioxide are emitted from a range of sources. A vast majority of scientists believe the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere creates a heat trap and is causing the climate to change globally.
Australia's main source of greenhouse gases is from the burning of fossil fuels to generate electricity. Other sources include missions from transport, agriculture, industrial processes, waste and fugitive emissions from industries such as mining.
In 2006 Australia's per capita emissions were 28.1 tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per person (DCC 2008). This is almost four times more the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) average.
The Australian Government has set a target of reducing the country's emissions by 5% (year 2000 levels) by the year 2020. As the graph below shows we have a fair way to go before we reach that target. The real positive is that our emissions no longer seem to be growing.