Poor ranking for Australia in climate action index released at Morocco talks

An international ranking of government actions on climate change has put Australia fifth last out of 58 countries.


Julie Bishop is welcomed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, prior to the opening session of the UN climate conference in Marrakech, Morocco, Nov. 15, 2016. Source: AP

Australia's climate change policies continue to be ranked as very poor in an international comparison of 58 countries.

The latest climate change performance index ranks Australia fifth last - the same rank as last year - in a list of nations responsible for 90 per cent of the world's carbon emissions.

We're ahead of Korea, Kazakhstan, Japan and Saudi Arabia but well behind France, Sweden and the UK which topped the index.

The report, released at United Nations climate change talks in Morocco, says Australia improved in the areas of renewable energy and cutting emissions but did worse in energy efficiency.

Experts reviewing policies pointed to a wide gap between Australia's national and state level plans for tackling climate change.

"While the former were rather unambitious and uninspired; the latter managed to some extent to take independent action," the report states.

Australian Conservation Foundation says the report shows the world is watching as Australia's carbon pollution rises.

"The government spruiks its climate credentials but Australia remains a laggard on cutting climate pollution," chief executive Kelly O'Shanassy said.

While the government's ratification of the Paris agreement was welcome, Ms O'Shanassy said Australia couldn't meet its commitments under that deal unless it systematically closed coal-fired power plants and replaced them with renewable power.

2 min read
Published 16 November 2016 at 9:42pm
Source: AAP