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Fugitive emissions sector greenhouse gas emissions

Key finding

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

Queensland’s fugitive greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions—the emissions lost to the atmosphere during coal and gas mining activities—have grown very strongly, from 3.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2-e) in 1990 to reach 17.5 MtCO2e in 2016.

This strong growth in fugitive emissions is a result of expansion in Queensland’s coal and gas extractive industry.

Fugitive emissions are mostly methane, a GHG with a global warming potential 25 times higher than carbon dioxide over a 100 year period. Methane is found in coal and oil deposits and is released during the mining or extraction process. It is also the primary component of raw natural gas and is often released during extraction and processing.

The main sources of fugitive emissions in 2016 were:

  • underground coal mining
  • surface coal mining
  • natural gas extraction.

The contribution of fugitive emissions from solid fuels other than coal and oil is very small.

More information:

Indicator: Greenhouse gas emissions, in carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2 – e), of fugitive emissions sector

Queensland annual greenhouse gas emissions in carbon dioxide equivalent from 1990–2016 by fugitive emissions sector. Total fugitive emissions sector greenhouse gas emissions in millions of tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent comparing states for 2016.

Download data from Queensland Government data

Last updated 12 February 2020