Australia has highest coal power emissions per capita in world

Smoke stacks

New research has shown that Australia has the highest coal power emissions per capita in the world, with coal still a major energy source in the nation. According to the data, Australians emit almost five times more carbon dioxide from coal power than the average person globally.

Using electricity generation data from energy think-tank Ember’s Global Electricity Review and annual population data from the United Nations, the analysis shows that the world’s richest countries are among the worst coal power emitters when adjusted for population. 

Fourth-placed United States emits three times the global average, while second placed South Korea emits four times the global average. Australia tops the list of the worst coal power emissions with more than five times the average global emissions per person. 

Even China, the world’s largest coal power consumer, emits half as much carbon dioxide from coal power as Australia per person. India, the world’s second-largest coal power consumer, actually emits far less than the global average per person, more than eight times less than Australia. 

The future of energy is turning renewable

Since the Paris Climate Change agreement, more than 76% of planned coal projects around the world have collapsed, as world leaders and individuals have embraced the need to curb emissions to avoid climate catastrophe.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which includes Australia, has halved coal power in the last decade. Over 56% of the OECD’s coal capacity has either closed since 2010 or is scheduled to close by 2030, as nations move towards cleaner energy. That number could grow to almost 80% if proposed legislation in both Germany and the United States to phase out coal by 2030 passes.

While the Glasgow climate summit has seen an array of new pledges and promises come into effect, countries within the OECD still have a long way to go to meet clean energy targets. A number of the biggest emitters, including Australia and Japan, have refused to commit to a climate phase-out date, although all have pledged to reach net-zero by 2050. 

As the uptake in renewable energy continues, more homes and businesses will be powered by clean energy. Australia, too, is looking to bring more electric vehicles to the road in an effort to reduce transport emissions.

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