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Australia Is Now The World’s Third Largest Fossil Fuel Exporter

Despite claims from politicians that Australia’s contribution to global carbon emissions is not that big, the country ranks third in the world in terms of fossil fuel exports by carbon dioxide (CO2) potential, the Australia Institute think tank said on Monday.

Australia’s fossil fuel exports are only behind Russia and Saudi Arabia by CO2 potential—larger than Iraq, Venezuela, or any member state of the European Union (EU), the think tank said in a new report.

“Australia is the largest coal exporter in the world and on recent reports the largest LNG exporter too,” the Australia Institute said, analyzing data from the most recent estimates of the International Energy Agency (IEA) datasets for coal, oil and gas production, and exports from all countries.  

According to the report, Australia is the world’s third biggest fossil fuel exporter with 7 percent of all fossil fuel exports. Within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) of developed nations, Australia is the largest fossil fuel exporter, with Australian fossil fuel exports making up 20 percent of the total.

Australia’s fossil fuel exports are higher than those from Indonesia, Canada, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, or Qatar, and nearly four times larger than those from Venezuela or Colombia, according to The Australia Institute.

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In absolute terms, Australia is the world’s fifth largest fossil fuel carbon miner, behind only China, the U.S., Russia and Saudi Arabia.

According to the data the institute has analyzed, Australia’s fossil fuel exports are higher than U.S. fossil fuel exports, despite the fact that the U.S. has a population 13 times larger, gross domestic product (GDP) 15 times larger, and export value 8 times larger.

“Many argue Australia’s emissions are small on a global scale, but this research shows the complete opposite: our domestic emissions are large and our exported emissions are even larger,” Richie Merzian, Climate & Energy Program Director at the Australia Institute, said, commenting on the findings of the report.

“Australian government Ministers argue Australia’s emissions are small on a global scale. They use this as an excuse for delaying effective action on climate. On any reasonable assessment of the data, Australia is a large emitter with a profound global obligation to reduce emissions,” the Institute said in the report.

Small nations in the Pacific have recently criticized Australia for undermining a strong statement about climate change and carbon emissions and for its watered-down language on climate goals and coal production in a joint communiqué with Pacific island nations.

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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