Two new new global reports have underlined just how far behind the climate eight-ball Australia remains, just days after the Turnbull government said it would ratify the Paris Agreement.
The first – the latest Climate Change Performance Index, released overnight in Marrakech by Climate Action Network Europe and German NGO, Germanwatch – ranked Australia fifth-last out of a group of 58 countries responsible for more than 90 per cent of global energy-related CO2 emissions.
According to a release accompanying the Index, Australia was ranked in the bottom group of the CCPI 2017 – rated “very poor” – alongside Canada and Japan. Other countries ranked below Australia included Kazakhstan, Korea and Saudi Arabia.
The CCPI report said Australia has gone backwards in energy efficiency since the last ranking, and continued to lag in ambition of climate policies.
The index also noted a gap between the national and state policies in Australia: the former described as “rather unambitious and uninspired,” the latter managing “to some extent to take independent action.”
The second report, also released overnight in Marrakech, named Australia among a small number of G20 nations whose domestic efforts are falling well short of their pledged contributions to the Paris Agreement on climate change.
The report – launched at COP22 by the Grantham Institute and the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy at the London School of Economics – lumps Australia in this ignominious category alongside Argentina, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the US.
It concludes that these six G20 nations “lack overall framework legislation or regulation on climate change, and need to move from sectoral to economy-wide targets and extend the timeframe of their targets to 2030.”
The countries were also found to be “either behind on meeting their 2020 targets or have not set any”.
“Australia has so much to lose from more heatwaves, droughts and bushfires – and we have some of the best renewable energy resources in the world – so we should be a leader on this list, not bumping around near the bottom,” said the Australian Conservation Foundation’s CEO Kelly O’Shanassy .
“If Adani’s proposed giant Carmichael mine is ever built, it will wipe out Australia’s efforts to reduce pollution under the Paris Agreement.”
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