Land use, land use change and forestry sector greenhouse gas emissions
In 2018, net emissions from the land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) sector contributed 22.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e), or 13% of Queensland’s total emissions. Emissions from the LULUCF sector decreased 66% between 2005 and 2018. Queensland has been the largest source of this type of emissions in Australia since 1990.
The land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) sector includes forest lands, croplands, grasslands, settlements, and Harvested Wood Products (wood products that are consumed and not yet disposed to a waste stream).
Queensland’s LULUCF sector greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have shown large fluctuations since 1990 with a general lowering trend in emissions since 2005.
Emissions were 22.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) in 2018. This represents 13% of Queensland’s total emissions.
- This compares with 108.9 MtCO2e in 1990.
- In 2005, emissions were 66.1 MtCO2e.
Land clearing rates, time lags in emissions, and climate variations such as droughts and wet spells contribute to fluctuations with spikes seen in 1999, 2001 and 2005.
Land use emissions are the most variable emission source in Queensland’s and Australia’s greenhouse gas accounts due to fluctuations in land clearing rates, time lags in emissions and the effect of climate variability such as droughts and wet spells.
In Queensland, forest lands and harvested wood products are a carbon 'sink' (i.e. where carbon is stored in soil, plants or trees rather than released into the air).
Unlike most other Australian jurisdictions, Queensland is a net source of LULUCF emissions rather than a net ‘sink’. Vegetation clearing is the main source of Queensland’s LULUCF GHG emissions.
- Tree clearing takes place for many reasons including agricultural purposes, settlements, mining and resource extraction, and responses to changes in government regulation.
- Emissions from this sector occurs in the following sub-sectors: grasslands; croplands and settlements.
- Emissions have declined from the land use sector since 1990 due to increases in carbon sinks through forest regrowth (on previously cleared land) and declines in forest land being cleared to grasslands for agricultural purposes.
Note: These estimates are based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change classification system used to report Australia’s GHG emissions inventory under UNFCCC guidelines. Previous State of Environment LULUCF reporting was based on the Kyoto Protocol accounting method.
Relevant Sustainable Development Goals’ targets
Comparison of state and territory land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) emissions, 2018
|New South Wales||-13.282|
|Australian Capital Territory||-0.097|
Trends in Queensland's net land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) emissions, by category
|Year||Forest lands||Croplands||Grasslands||Settlements||Harvested Wood Products|
Queensland’s total land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) emissions
|Year||Emissions (million tonnes)|
Queensland annual greenhouse gas emissions in carbon dioxide equivalent from 1990–2018 by land use, land use change and forestry sector reported under the UNFCCC. Total land use, land use change and forestry sector greenhouse gas emissions in millions of tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent comparing states for 2018 reported under the UNFCCC. Note: Estimates are based on the IPCC classification system used to report Australia’s greenhouse gas emission inventory under UNFCCC guidelines. Source: Australian Greenhouse Emissions Information System, Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources.