Australia reaches all-time low for climate change action, policy

Australia is performing extremely poorly in response to climate change, with claims the nation deserves to be criticised for a perceived lack of action.

A new report has ranked Australia at the bottom of nations in relation to climate change response, as environmental advocates state that they are not surprised that the nation is not responding.

2020’s Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) has revealed Australia’s performance on climate change in relation to 57 other nations.

The index prepared by a group of thinktanks rated Australia across categories of emissions, renewable energy, energy use and policy.

Across the categories, Australia was ranked as the sixth-worst performing country, joining Saudi Arabia and the United States as “cause for great concern” over performance on emissions.

However, the nation was singled out as the worst-performing on national and international climate policy with the lowest possible rating of 0.0, with the report stating the Morrison government “has continued to worsen performance.”

“The new government is an increasingly regressive force in negotiations and has been criticised for its lack of ambition by several Pacific Island nations in the context of this year’s Pacific Island Forum,” the report said.

It attributed the low performance to “the dismissal of recent IPCC reports, the government not attending the UN Climate Action Summit in September and the withdrawal from funding the Green Climate Fund.”

The report also said that the Australian government also did not clarify how it would meet the country’s 2030 emission reduction target and did not develop a long-term mitigation strategy.

WA Greens Upper House MP Tim Clifford said the results were disappointing, but not surprising.

“It’s a real indication of how poorly Australia is going,” Mr Clifford said.

“We’re pretty much failing our obligation to meet our Paris commitments.”

Mr Clifford said that the lack of climate change action went as far back as the Abbott government and it was currently “business as usual” for the Federal Government.

He also questioned Federal Labor’s commitment to climate change.

“There’s all these bushfires that are raging, we also have Anthony Albanese touring coal mines up in Queensland,” Mr Clifford said.

“That is totally unfathomable considering what we are in and that is a climate crisis.”

Murdoch University Senior Lecturer in Politics and Policy Ian Cook said there has been “no real action” policy and there may not be.

“Scott Morrison is just sort of playing and he’s not interested in any real sense,” Dr Cook said.

He also believed Labor could not be relied on to introduce climate change policy.

Mr Clifford said strategies needed to be taken immediately.

“We’re going to make sure that polluters pay for their emissions,” he said

“But also in that we make sure that there’s money put into new opportunities like renewable energy.”

Dr Cook encouraged young people to take action, stating that they “can’t rely on old people to do anything about climate change.”

“They’ve got to start pushing harder, they’ve got to stop accepting the sort of condescending, pathetic treatment that old generations particularly politicians are giving them,” he said.

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