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Australia bottom of the list for climate action

AUSTRALIA is the worst-performing country in the OECD for climate action, new research has revealed.

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The Climate Change Performance Index, which is designed to enhance transparency during international climate talks, ranked Australia last of all the OECD countries on climate action and third-last of the 58 countries analysed.

Only oil-rich Saudi Arabia and Kazhakstan were found to be worse on climate action.

Climate Council chief councillor Tim Flannery said the analysis highlighted that Australia was not doing enough to protect its citizens from the devastating impacts of climate change.

“Researchers have again looked at Australia’s efforts and have again said ‘not good enough’,” Prof Flannery said.

“Australia is failing to make the grade on several counts. Firstly, the government has refused to increase its 2020 target despite advice from the Climate Change Authority that the conditions in the UN agreement for increasing the target have been met.

“Secondly, the government is relying desperately on carryover credits from the first Kyoto period make its 2020 target despite several of Australia’s allies cancelling their credits so that they make their targets through genuine emissions reduction rather than dodgy accounting.

“And thirdly, despite a change in rhetoric, the government has not yet made any significant policy changes to restore confidence to the renewable energy industry."

The report also found that while the USA and China had significantly increased their rankings due to comprehensive climate action plans, Australia had made no improvement on last year’s rankings.

“It's clear that Australia has a huge amount of ground to make up when it comes to tackling climate change,” Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie said.

“International analysis, time and time again, has found Australia’s climate policy to be wanting.

“An honest and productive conversation about protecting Australians from worsening bushfires, droughts and other extreme weather events has to start with the facts."