Christmas Eve… The Perfect Night To Release Bad News About Our Growing Emissions


There’s only a few days in a calendar year when cynical governments can truly bury news they don’t want you to read. Melbourne Cup is one of them. Anzac Day is another. And Christmas Eve… the mother of them all.

Here’s a sobering Christmas Day message released by the Climate Council on Christmas Day, which you probably should read.

A REPORT which reveals Australia’s emissions have increased was released quietly on Christmas Eve in a blatant attempt to bury it, the Climate Council said today.

The Quarterly Update of Australia’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory reveals Australia’s emissions increased by 0.8% in 2015 compared with the previous year, excluding land use change emissions.

Including emissions from land use and deforestation, Australia’s emissions increased by 1.3 per cent.

Emissions from the electricity sector, the largest source of emissions, jumped 3 per cent in the 2014-15 year compared to 2013-14.

The Climate Council’s Professor Will Steffen said it was extremely disappointing that the Government had chosen to release such important information on Christmas Eve.

“In the fortnight since the Paris climate talks concluded with an historic universal agreement to tackle climate change, the Australian Government has approved another coal mine, approved plans to expand a coal port next to the Great Barrier Reef and attempted to bury statistics which show our emissions continue to rise since the repeal of the carbon price,” he said.

“These sort of actions are totally inconsistent with what the government pledged to do just two weeks ago when they joined the rest of the world in agreeing to do everything possible to stay below 1.5 degrees of warming.

“It’s obvious that we have been unsuccessful in tackling emissions at the source as electricity emissions continue to grow. Not only are we at the bottom of the OECD countries in terms of our emission reduction pledges, we are struggling to meet even this weak level of ambition.

“If we are serious about our doing our part in meeting the 1.5 degrees celsius target, we urgently need a clear national plan for reducing emissions rapidly and transitioning to a low-carbon economy. Coal cannot be part of that plan.”

Chris Graham is the publisher and editor of New Matilda. He is the former founding managing editor of the National Indigenous Times and Tracker magazine. In more than three decades of journalism he's had his home and office raided by the Australian Federal Police; he's been arrested and briefly jailed in Israel; he's reported from a swag in Outback Australia on and off for years. Chris has worked across multiple mediums including print, radio and film. His proudest achievement is serving as an Associate producer on John Pilger's 2013 film Utopia. He's also won a few journalism awards along the way in both the US and Australia, including a Walkley Award, a Walkley High Commendation and two Human Rights Awards. Since late 2021, Chris has been battling various serious heart and lung conditions. He's begun the process of quietly planning a "gentle exit" after "tying up a few loose ends" in 2024 and 2025. So watch this space.