Australia has earned the dubious distinction of coming in last of the 200 countries when it comes to action on climate change. The report of sustainable development goals prepared by Cambridge has found Australia trailing in at last among 193 countries that were evaluated.
Keeping Australia company are Qatar and Brunei at the bottom of the pile. In fossil fuel emission assessment, Australia came in with an abysmal score of 10 out of 100. The emissions are calculated based on its import and export rules for pricing carbon.
Richie Merzian, a climate expert from Australia, said that such terrible results were disappointing but expected. This is the second year in a row that Australia has been down in the dumps when it comes to ranking. Last year it shared the last spot with another nation infamous for resisting global consensus on climate change, the US.
Merzian said that the Australian government had leaned on technologies that favored the fossil fuel cartels. He further alleged that the government of Australia had no consistent policies when it came to energy and climate.
Australia has also refused to commit to zero carbon emissions by 2050, which could spell doom for the planned shift from fossil fuel to other forms of non-polluting energy.
Australian emission data that was released in May revealed that its emission record was the lowest in 30 years, but it was the year of the pandemic.
Australia Evaluated On 17 Sustainable Development Goals
Based on the 17 SDGs, the country was ranked at 35 this year with a strong performance on economic growth, education, health and well-being, clean water, etc.
The report noted that the country has made minuscule changes in the field of clean energy and still had a long way to go to meet international requirements.
On the subject of global action, the report noted that nations should not let the pandemic come in the way of progress needed toward achieving the 17 sustainable development goals. It said that international commitments instead should be accompanied rapidly by investments and actions that are transformative.
The country’s record of being the largest exporter per capita of greenhouse gas discharges is being seen as a reverse. Even developed nations have refused to comply with international calls on cutting down on the use of fossil fuels to rein in climate change. The country is also placed among the ten top countries when it comes to the per capita use of fossil fuels.
Notably, Australia has not taken any steps to improve upon its equally abysmal standing in 2019. It has not made any progress in the four metrics for evaluating climate action. Australia has managed to stay ahead of only Brunei on those counts.
The 2021 assessment report indicted the Morrison-led government for failure to commit the nation to a 0-emission target. This has led to a poor score.
Most leading nations from both the developed and developing nations groups have committed to neutrality by 2050 through national policy documents or proposed legislation.
These include every G20 country except India, Australia, Mexico, Turkey, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia. China and Brazil have committed to achieving climate neutrality by the year 2060.
The country’s high-intensity emission of their electricity systems and the low percentage of renewable sources of energy in the mix of primary energy have been a reason for the low ranking. The country’s uptake of electric-powered vehicles has also been quite slow.
The country still faces key challenges in reaching its target of sustainable developments goals, especially concerning climate change and environmental sustainability, responsible consumption of energy, clean energy, and ocean health.