As the good folk of Australia are well aware, our climate policy is a bigger let down than Scott Morrison himself, and in an annual review of over 60 countries from the The Climate Change Performance Index, Australia has come in at a less-than-impressive last.
German-based advocacy group Germanwatch recently consulted with around 450 climate and energy experts worldwide, and conducted annual independent monitoring alongside it, before releasing the 2022 Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI).
The CCPI ranks 60 countries and the European Union (a further 27 nations) on topics like policy, greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy, and energy use. Australia has slipped four places from last year, ranking from number 55 to now 58, with the only country to receive a zero percent score on climate policy which is not only disappointing at best, but concerning at worst.
For context, Algeria and Brazil sit just two places above Australia's rank, with Korea, Chinese Taipei, Canada, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Kazakhstan ranking below Australia.
To make things worse, the CCPI noted that Australia is ultimately the worst off, considering that the country has been “continuously performing very low in the CCPI ranking” since 2014. For such a beautiful country, our politicians seem as though they'd rather remain in the hellscape that was the 2019/20 bushfires than to turn things around for the good of our environment.
“The government does not have any policies on phasing out coal or gas, but CCUS and hydrogen are being promoted as low emissions technologies,” the index’s report on Australia reads. “Even though the renewables electricity is growing, the experts believe that Australia has failed to take advantage of its potential, and other countries have outpaced it.
“Despite public support for a net zero target, there is currently no national plan for transitioning to renewable energy, with the policy uncertainty undermining investment and causing energy supply concerns."
"The country’s lack of domestic ambition and action has made its way to the international stage. The experts describe that the country’s international standing has been damaged by climate denialism by politicians, refusal to increase ambition, and refusal to recommit to international green finance mechanisms (accompanying a very low rating for the International Climate Policy indicator). Australia has fallen behind its allies and its inaction even attracted public criticism in the run-up to COP26."
Do make sure to remember this embarrassing result when it's time for our next election, we beg.