In October, the Feds and their backbenchers began sharing misleading graphs about Australia's emissions performance like the one below.

Plenty people have pointed out that it is misleading, including @ABCFactCheck, but it has been hard to check for yourself.

But not anymore! 🧵
Now, there's a new tool you can use to check this yourself right away.

The @climatecouncil and the @OpenNem teams have pulled together a quick tool that you can use to check these claims for yourself, which you can find at…
This thread combines a fact check and a how to of the new features of @OpenNem.

For those who have been using opennem for some time, some of these features exist on the main site as well, you might learn something new about to use the existing platform.
The newest tool allows for fair comparison countries' emissions performance.

While the Feds want you to believe Australia's emissions performance is world-beating, here is the same comparison, performed in a principled way.

You can see it yourself here:…
This is built on @JoGuetschow @louisejeffery @openclimatedata and co-authors' PRIMAP-hist data set, that you can read about, and download, here:…
So why the difference between what the government says and what is correct?

1) The Federal government ignores that land use accounting rules uniquely advantage Australia.
2) The Federal Government compares Australia's pandemic emissions to other nations' pre-pandemic emissions.
1) Land use:

In 1997, Australia negotiated an extraordinary additional benefit for itself in the closing hours of the UN climate conference. This allowed it to include land use emissions in its total.

You can hear more about this on @readfearn's podcast:…
This uniquely advantaged Australia because few other countries has such extraordinary rates of land clearing as Australia. Due to state action - largely in Queensland, this dropped significantly in 1992, and again around 2007, you can see this below.
You can make this chart for yourself.

1) Go to
2) Click on 'Land Management' to activate it and click on all other sectors to deselect them.
3) Move to annual view and then add pre-2005 and post-2021 data.

This site uses the Federal government's figures
In 2005, land use emissions - more accurately described as land use, land use change and forestry, or LULUCF - was Australia's second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, responsible for even more than transport.

Today, LULUCF is a small net sink.
While bad faith negotiating means Australia does have the right to include this in its total when reporting to the international community, the unique privilege this offers to Australia means that it is very misleading to suggest that Australia is outperforming other nations.
Below is Australia's change in total net emissions including LULUCF, and excluding LULUCF between 2005 and 2021.

Including LULUCF, Australia's emissions dropped by 122 Mt CO₂e, or 20.2%.
Excluding LULUCF, Australia's emissions dropped by 21 Mt CO₂e, or 3.9%
You can see these for yourself as above by going to and selecting the relevant sectors.

You can compare years by left clicking on one year, then command/control (mac and pc respectively) on a later comparison year.

This also makes this handy extra chart.
(Yes, I know the labels here aren't great. Fixing this is on the to-do list.)
2) Comparing Australia's emissions during the pandemic to everyone else's pre-pandemic.

While the COVID pandemic's impact on global emissions is often overblown - it was a few percent and certainly not the permanent systematic change we need - it was nonetheless significant.
In Australia, emissions were around 6% lower in the financial year ending 2021 - which is the first financial year to be fully affected by the pandemic - than in the 2019 financial year.
You can see a view like this at by moving back to the quarterly data view, selecting the relevant sectors and then focusing on the relevant sectors by clicking and dragging on the dates you need in the x-axis.
By comparing Australia's emissions post-pandemic to everyone else's emissions before the pandemic, this further exacerbates the already unfair treatment shown to Australia by not treating it on like terms with regard to land use.
The Federal Government wants to compare Australia's performance to USA, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and the OECD average.

To reiterate, after putting those countries onto equal footing by comparing the same year range and with LULUCF excluded:…
You can make that chart yourself by going to…, selecting the relevant countries and regions and narrowing the date range by clicking on the x-axis.
There's more to come here, and these two new features of @OpenNem are very much just the first salvos in @climatecouncil's work to expand the platform.

Keep your eyes peeled for more over time.
Ping @simonahac @nickymison @KetanJ0 @alison_reeve @mcannonbrookes and any number of other emissions nerds.
I should also say that the aforementioned @simonahac and others on the @OpenNem team including @chienleng played a big role in getting this to here, with @dylanjmcconnell and @mcannonbrookes helping out in various advisory ways as well.

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More from @timinclimate

14 Jan
Overnight @NOAA released its 2021 climate data, showing that last year was the 6th hottest on record - despite being a La Niña - with the last 9 years all being in the top 10 hottest recorded.

I've made an animated month-by-month summary of the change since 1880. It's not happy.
This is the monthly temperature anomaly relative to the 20th century av. Every January is compared to the average temperature of all the Januarys between 1901 and 2000. Every February is compared to the Februarys, etc.

The colour scheme is relative to highest and lowest anomaly.
You can also download a high-quality version of the animation here:…

Below is a static version of the heatmap. You can also download the high-quality version of the static image here:…
Read 4 tweets
19 Sep 21
Right, let's have a look at these facts that our taxes have paid for ahead of an election. Image
Fact 1 tries to compare apples and squid by comparing Australia's emissions reductions while factoring in land use change, to numbers for everyone else that don't factor in land use change.

Australia's emissions excluding land use increased 5% in that time. ImageImageImage
Facts 2 and 3 try to take credit for someone else's good work the rollout of renewables in Australia has occurred despite the current Federal government - who would prefer to invest in expensive and pollution - not because of it.f ImageImageImageImage
Read 12 tweets
8 Jul 21
Ketan’s thread here is great, and I want to “yes, and...” it with a few things.

TL;DR: Fossil fuels are dying. That’s why their advocates are noisier, and sinking their talons deeper into trusted institutions. But they are venomous, and will do remarkable harm on the way out.
First and foremost, fossil fuels are absolutely and without a shadow of a doubt *losing*. Their executives, their lobbyists, their strategists and their captured governments are pathetic failures.

They have not, and cannot, win the battle against zero fossil fuels. They’ve lost.
The inertia on decarbonisation hasn’t just been broken. It is *shattered* and in millions of tiny pieces on the floor. There isn’t enough glue in the world to put it back together.

Stopping the trend to zero fossil fuels is impossible. We’ll live in a world without fossil fuels.
Read 11 tweets
7 Jul 21
Hi @questacon, I hear you've got a sponsorship deal with Inpex, a gas company that's one of Australia's biggest emitters.

Is this why the video about renewables you have made targeting school aged children spruiks gas, a fossil fuel that is destabilising the climate?
Quite apart from anything else, there are many factual inaccuracies here.

Batteries are great. ✅
We don't have enough of them yet. ✅
We will be using more renewable sources for electricity in the future. ✅
But that's not where gas comes in. ❌
There is no need to take a long slow detour to zero emissions electricity via gas.

This is an oft-repeated piece of BS.

There is not one serious piece of energy system modelling that sees gas doing anything but collapsing in a pathetic heap.…
Read 18 tweets
3 Dec 20
The report that has been my life for months now finally came out today, and it has heaps of useful info.

I've been working in the space for years, and even I was shocked some the things I found.

I'm going to step through some bits I think will help others in threads.👇
The report has its key findings.

They are perfectly serviceable - and were written by the comms geniuses at @climatecouncil - but if I'm summarising this multifaceted report in a single sentence:

Gas is more harmful than you know, and very much more unnecessary than you think.
Let's start with harmful.

Gas is harmful in two key ways: Bad for the climate and bad for jobs.

I've had a long day, so I am *just* going to do harmful to the climate tonight.

This really is a bumper report, and I'm paid to say that it has a lot to recommend it.
Read 21 tweets
2 Oct 20
A new round of data from Australian Energy Statistics was released to day and the Minister is keen to let you know that gas use grew.

Putting aside the fact that 2% growth isn't really 'strong' by any measure (renewables grew by 16%) this is misleading.

(A thread)
Yes, gas use in Australia increased by 2%, year on year, between financial year 2017-18 and 2018-19. The statement is technically correct, but It's important to look at where gas use grew.

It wasn't in the electricity sector. Electricity sector gas use fell by 5%.
It wasn't in manufacturing. Manufacturing sector gas use fell by 3%.
It wasn't in mining. Mining sector gas use fell by a whopping 16%.
Household gas use did increase by 2%, but population increased by 2%, so that's not it. Household gas use is relatively small, anyway.
Read 9 tweets

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