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Greenhouse gas emissions

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View the current 2020 report.

Key messages

Understanding greenhouse gas emissions

A greenhouse gas is a gas that traps heat in the earth’s atmosphere.  Increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from human activities like burning fossil fuels for electricity and transport, and deforestation, results in changes in the global climate system. Reducing the amount and rate of greenhouse gas emissions is important for the overall health of people and the environment. Both the Queensland and Australian governments have set 2030 greenhouse reduction targets.

This section provides total greenhouse gas emissions data for Queensland and a breakdown of emissions for the following sectors: energy; transport; industrial processes; agriculture; land use, land use change and forestry; fugitives; and waste.

Key findings


Total annual greenhouse gas emissions

While Queensland's greenhouse gas emissions have decreased by 15% between 2005 and 2016, the state was the largest source of emissions in 2016 of all Australian jurisdictions.

Stationary energy sector greenhouse gas emissions

Emissions from the stationary energy sector increased by 14% between 2005 and 2016. This continues to be the highest source of Queensland’s emissions at 48% of total emissions.

Transport sector greenhouse gas emissions

Emissions from the transport sector increased 26% between 2005 and 2016. Road transport, including passenger cars, was the main source of emissions at 10.1 MtCO2e in 2016.

Agriculture sector greenhouse gas emissions

Emissions from the agriculture sector decreased 6% between 2005 and 2016, mainly due to a decline in livestock numbers.

Land use, land use change and forestry sector greenhouse gas emissions

While emissions from the land sector decreased 80% between 2005 and 2016, Queensland is the largest source of this type of emission in Australia.

Industrial processes sector greenhouse gas emissions

Emissions from the industrial processes sector increased 11% between 2005 and 2016 due largely to increased use of replacements for ozone-depleting substances.

Fugitive emissions sector greenhouse gas emissions

Total fugitive emissions increased 79% between 2005 and 2016 in line with growing coal and gas production.

Waste sector greenhouse gas emissions

Emissions from the waste sector increased 17% between 2005 and 2016, however waste emissions have fallen since 2011 due to increased capture and combustion of landfill gas.


The National Greenhouse Gas Inventory (NGGI)

The compilation of Australia’s emissions data—called the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory (NGGI)—is undertaken centrally by the Department of the Environment using the Australian Greenhouse Emissions Information System (AGEIS). The State and Territory Greenhouse Gas Inventories provide an overview of the latest available estimates of annual greenhouse gas emissions for Australia’s States and Territories including Queensland.

Last updated 26 August 2020