Explainer: A guide to Queensland’s emissions targets and progress


Queensland's emissions are dominated by the energy sector, agriculture, and mining activities, making it one of the highest emitting states in Australia.

Emissions Trend Over the Last Decade

Over the past decade, Queensland has seen fluctuating emissions levels, largely due to its expanding LNG export industry, although there have been gains in energy efficiency and renewable energy adoption.

Comparison with Other States and Territories

Queensland's emissions are significant on both a total and per capita basis, reflecting the state's heavy reliance on coal for electricity and its status as a major agricultural and mining hub.

Emissions Reduction Targets

Queensland has committed to a 30% reduction in emissions by 2030 compared to 2005 levels and aims for net-zero emissions by 2050.

Alignment with National and International Goals

The state's targets are part of Australia's broader commitment under the Paris Agreement, though critics argue more aggressive targets are needed to match global efforts.

Is Queensland on Track to Hit Its Targets?

Progress is mixed; while there is advancement in renewable energy, the continued expansion of the coal and LNG sectors poses challenges to meeting these targets.

Key Sectors Contributing to Emissions

The energy sector, primarily coal-fired power generation, alongside agriculture and mining, are the largest contributors to Queensland's greenhouse gas emissions.

Impact of State Characteristics

Queensland's vast size, resource-rich land, and agricultural productivity shape its emissions profile and complicate the implementation of uniform climate policies.

Key Policies for Emissions Reduction

  • Renewable Energy: Queensland is focusing on solar and wind projects to diversify its energy mix away from coal.
  • Electric Vehicles (EVs): The state promotes EV adoption through incentives and developing charging infrastructure, although detailed policies were not as outlined as for NSW.

Challenges in Emissions Reduction

Significant challenges include transitioning from a coal-dominated energy sector, mitigating emissions from agriculture and mining, and addressing the logistical hurdles posed by the state's geography.

Opportunities for Emissions Reduction

Queensland has vast potential for solar energy given its sunny climate, alongside opportunities to leverage its agricultural and land management practices for carbon sequestration.

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