Cleaner energy? Australia ranked dead last in climate action

Power plant smoke stacks polluting air

A new report from the Climate Council has seen Australia ranked worst in the developed world for climate action and fossil fuel use. Despite a shift towards cleaner energy, Australia has left things until too late to make a difference, the report finds.

The report considers Australia’s track record on climate action, as well as any commitments moving forward. When compared to international peers, it was found Australia has done far less than the rest of the developed world when it comes to reducing carbon emissions and moving away from fossil fuel usage.

Perhaps most concerning, the report details that the implementation of a federal net-zero emissions target for 2050 wouldn’t even be enough to move the country off of the bottom of the list, highlighting how far behind the rest of the developed world Australia has fallen. 

“A commitment to net zero by 2050 would still leave Australia dead last, unless accompanied by a much stronger commitment to cutting emissions this decade,” said Climate Council’s head of research, Dr Simon Bradshaw. 

Australia is facing increasing pressure, both at home and on the global stage, to do more to reduce our carbon emissions. In order to match commitments of our key allies, Australia would need to announce a significantly strengthened emissions reduction target of 50% by 2030. 

Australia wasn’t the only nation that the Climate Council found to be under-delivering. The report found despite a number of international pledges and a shift towards action, nations around the world have been too slow to implement significant change at the required level. 

The Climate Council says that avoiding climate catastrophe will require nations around the world to close the gap between what they have promised and what they have so far delivered in terms of emission reductions. 

As renewable energy continues to grow around Australia and the world, emission reductions are expected to continue in a positive direction. Whether the levels can reach those necessary to stop climate disaster, however, remains to be seen.

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