The Kyoto Protocol requires industrialised countries to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by an annual average of about 5 per cent below 1990 levels for the years 2008 to 2012. World production is around 7.1 billion tonnes (of which 4.5 is absorbed by plants and the sea). (One hectare of forest can absorb 23 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.) Though 84 signatories, only 16 have been ratified. Australia is party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Australia produces 275 million tonnes of which 45 per cent is by the power industry.
Woodside Offshore petroleum extracts some 500 000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year as a by-product of natural gas production (2.4 mol per cent in natural gas) at the Burrup Peninsula (near Dampier in the north west of the State). Other gas producers extract smaller amounts of carbon dioxide from the gas.
The massive Gorgon gas deposit off Western Australia containing 15 per cent carbon dioxide, so that even at stage 1, the project will be stripping 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.
The gas is stripped off the gas stream roduced by counter current extraction is the Sulfinol unit (uses a mixture of di-isopropanolamine and tetrahydrothiophene dioxide in water).
The Gorgon project, if it goes ahead, at stage 1 alone, will strip 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the LNG.
Carbon dioxide emissions in Asia in 10,000 metric tonnes 1994
In September 2000, the Federal Government said it will not introduce greenhouse measures which will affect industry competitiveness.
The key Government commitments included in the announcement are:
To maintain the competitiveness of Australian industry
To not introduce a mandatory emissions trading scheme in Australia until Australia has ratified the Kyoto Protocol, the Protocol has entered into force and an international trading scheme is in place. Even then, the Government will only introduce a scheme in Australia if it is in the national interest.
To avoid measures which disadvantage companies taking early action to reduce emissions.
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