Coal, gas, oil and other dirty fossil fuels continue to contribute to climate change, with an estimated 5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent released annually.
But the amount is dwarfed by the emissions from the industries themselves, according to the report.
The emissions from Australia’s electricity sector are estimated to be over 30 per cent of all the emissions, while the emissions of coal-fired power stations are just 4 per cent.
The report says it is important to look at the emissions and the impact they have on the environment as well as the climate.
The findings show the power sector is “among the most significant polluters of the climate system” and contributes over 50 per cent to the total emissions, with about 40 per cent from coal and 15 per cent for gas.
It says the CO2 emissions from electricity generation and coal mining are two of the top five contributors to climate emissions.
The Australian Institute of Energy and Resources says the industry is responsible for one-third of all emissions in Australia.
The carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel generation and burning “are now more than the emissions emitted by all other sectors combined”, it said.
It has estimated that Australia’s energy sector emissions in 2025 will be around the same as those from coal production and combustion.
Coal production and emissions, in terms of carbon intensity, are expected to rise by more than 1.5 per cent in 2025, it said, and coal burning will have more carbon intensity than gas production and coal-burning.
The study said coal and gas are “among Australia’s biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions”.
The study also found that electricity generation was responsible for over half of the emissions.
“This figure has increased over time due to increased emissions from power generation, mainly from coal-to-gas conversion and the growth of gas power stations, particularly in Queensland and Victoria,” it said in its report.
“Electricity generation emissions from coal are concentrated in the eastern and central parts of the country, where emissions from combustion and combustion emissions are greatest.”
Electricity generation accounted for over 60 per cent (55 per cent) of the carbon intensity of electricity generation, according the report, with gas, wind and biomass contributing less than 5 per cent and 0.5 percent respectively.
Coal-fired generation accounted in about half of total emissions in the electricity sector.
“The growth of the coal industry has had a significant impact on emissions of CO2 from electricity and gas generation in Australia,” it found.
Coal generation in the east of the continent accounted for about half the emissions for the same period.
“In the last three years, electricity generation emissions in both the east and west have grown significantly, with coal production accounting for around one-quarter of total CO2 generation.”
The emissions of wind and solar have also increased dramatically, with the majority of emissions coming from wind and wind farms in the west.
The authors of the report said coal burning contributed significantly to the CO 2 emissions from renewable energy.
“While renewables are growing rapidly, the coal sector is increasing in the majority.
This has resulted in increased emissions of carbon and methane from coal fired power stations,” the report found.
“These emissions are concentrated within the eastern states of New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania.”
The report also found there was no clear evidence of “a significant increase in carbon intensity in the energy sector”.
The report said it was difficult to say how many of the electricity generation sector’s emissions were related to its coal-dependent industry.
“As coal production has grown, there is evidence of the expansion of coal power stations in the power-producing regions of Queensland, Victoria, South Australian and Northern Territory,” it noted.
“However, there has also been a decrease in coal power generation in Western Australia.”
The authors said there was a lack of clarity about how much coal power plants had contributed to CO 2 emission, “as well as whether these are large or small power plants.”
The Australian Energy Market Operator, the Australian Energy Research and Development Organisation and the Australian Climate Change Authority were not immediately available for comment. AAP/ABC