New Climate Index Cements Australia’s Place as Climate Laggard

Australia is firmly at the bottom of a new index of major greenhouse gas emitters, ranking 55 out of 60, putting it in the same group as President Trump’s USA, and Saudi Arabia when it comes to rising emissions and poor climate policies.

The Australia Institute Climate & Energy Program has contributed to the 2018 Climate Change Performance Index, which finds Australia has once again earned a ‘very low’ performance ranking.

Key Findings

  • The climate policy performance of 56 countries and the EU, covering 90% of the global emissions, are ranked in the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI).
  • The top three spots of the CCPI 2019 are still unoccupied, as none of the 56 countries or the EU are clearly on a well below 2°C pathway in their overall performance.
  • In the group of very low performers are almost half of the G20 countries: Japan (49), Turkey (50), Russian Federation (52), Canada (54), Australia (55), Korea (57) and – at the very bottom of the index – USA (59) and Saudi Arabia (60).
  • Sweden and Morocco are the leading countries of CCPI.
  • China and India improved their performance – with India moving up to rank 11 as a result of an improved performance in renewable energy, comparatively low levels of per capita emissions and a relatively ambitious mitigation target for 2030 and China (33), moving into the group of medium-performing countries for the first time.

“Australia is at the bottom of the class when it comes to climate policy performance,” says Richie Merzian, Climate & Energy Program Director at The Australia Institute.

“After four years of rising emissions, and a relative absence of climate policy it is no surprise that Australia ranks only 55 out of 60 of the largest emitters in the Climate Change Performance Index, just above USA and Saudi Arabia.

“Minister Melissa Price is openly and unapologetically defending the coal industry in the face of the urgency of the climate challenge, recently laid out in the IPCC’s Special Report. It is this lack of political leadership that has directly contributed to Australia’s ‘very low’ performance ranking.

“Major developing countries like India and China were surprise performers and improved their CCPI rankings this year, thanks to continued political leadership to help transition to cleaner energy and stronger reduction targets – something the Morrison Government could learn from.

“The IPCC 1.5° report has shown that it is technically and economically feasible to limit global warming to 1.5°, but that there’s a lack of political will, and that has certainly been the case in Australia over the last five years.”

Related documents

CCPI 2019 Australia Scorecard

CCPI 2019 Results

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