Background

Australia is governed under a federal system through a constitution that binds six states and two territories. The state of Western Australia takes up about one third of the Australian land mass, with some 10 percent of the population and a buoyant, resources based economy that provided over 35 percent of Australia’s exports in 2010.

Western Australia (WA) emits around 72 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-eq) a year. About 27 million tonnes comes from energy industries and 14 million tonnes from the manufacturing and construction industries. Agriculture at 13 million tonnes and transport at 9 million tonnes are the other major contributors.

The Australian Government is committed to reducing Australia’s carbon emissions by 80 percent of year 2000 levels by 2050. The government has also committed to an unconditional five percent reduction in carbon pollution below 2000 levels by 2020.

This cannot be achieved in the time available by a single strategy. In the long run the world will have to convert to a low carbon economy, but for the immediate future existing technologies based on coal and hydrocarbons can be adapted to reduce emissions.

A Euro on Barrow Island