Australia's greenhouse gas pollution levels have jumped yet again, with the latest national government data released just days after climate change was forgotten in the Federal Budget.
Climate Council Acting CEO Dr Martin Rice said the Quarterly Update of Australia's National Greenhouse Gas Inventory released overnight shows an increase of 1.5% in greenhouse pollution levels over the last year (December 2017).
"This is now the third consecutive year Australia has seen an increase in greenhouse gas pollution levels. Yet, the Federal Government continues to bury its head in the sand, despite the climate siren sounding for years," he said.
"This increase in emissions comes just days after the Federal Government failed to introduce any funding measures to tackle intensifying climate change in the 2018 Budget."
"Australia is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change in the developed world, with worsening extreme weather events including severe heatwaves, supercharged storms, heavy rainfall, flooding, droughts and bushfires."
"In fact, just this week we have seen Tasmania hit with extreme rainfall and flooding, with rainfall records smashed in the city of Hobart over a 24 hour period."
Dr Rice said Australia was at serious risk of further cementing its reputation as a 'global climate laggard' following the release of the new data.
"As nations such as New Zealand continue to show true climate leadership, Australia's recent track record should serve as an embarrassment," he said.
"The solution is here. Australia must demand credible climate and energy policy that embraces our renewables boom, while transitioning away from ageing, polluting and inefficient fossil fuels.
"The window of opportunity to tackle climate change is rapidly closing and Australia must do its fair share instead of looking the other way, all while our greenhouse gas pollution levels rise year after year."