Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Australia’s Environmental Ranking Trumped

By Ian Lowe

Australia has been ranked third-worst in the developed world for environmental protection, and medical professionals are increasingly concerned about the health impacts of climate change.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Australia ranks third-worst in the developed world for environmental protection. The annual report of the Washington-based Centre for Global Development has placed Australia ahead of only South Korea and Japan among the 27 nations it assessed. We were considered even worse than the USA under President Donald Trump. The Centre singled out our poor response to climate change as the area most needing attention, noting high per capita emissions, relatively low levels of taxation on transport fuels, and heavy reliance on coal for electricity.

The negative international assessment was conducted before the Coalition blood-letting led to the scrapping of the National Energy Guarantee. I guess we look even worse now.

For the second time in his political career, Malcolm Turnbull was removed by his Liberal Party colleagues, partly because his moderate and inadequate response to climate change was still too much for those in the government who deny the science.

I have written before about the improbability of Australia achieving its Paris commitment of 26–28% emissions reduction if we only cut electricity generation by that amount, with no attempt to reduce greenhouse gas production from transport, agriculture and manufacturing. Now we don’t even have an energy policy with a weak target, just meaningless platitudes about lower prices and secure supply.


The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.