Key countries on track to meet international obligations – Australia far off track

Posted on 07 June 2014   |  
Black Law windfarm near Carluke in Scotland, UK.
Black Law windfarm near Carluke in Scotland, UK.
© Global Warming Images / WWF
Australia is lagging behind six key trading partners when it comes to action on climate change, according to a new report from Vivid Economics, released today by WWF-Australia.

While the US, China, Indonesia, EU and Singapore are on track to meet their international carbon pollution targets, the report shows that Australia is far off track.

It also shows other countries are improving their energy and carbon efficiency faster than Australia.

WWF-Australia’s Climate Change National Manager Kellie caught said it is clear that Australia’s trading partners are acting on climate change and taking their commitments to cut carbon pollution seriously.

“This report busts the myth that Australia is leading on climate action,” Ms Caught said.

“Australia is lagging behind.

“This report sends a clear signal that we need to do more to be a team player on the global stage.

“Australia’s trading partners are shifting to low carbon economies, and if we don’t take stronger action we could risk our international reputation and economic competitiveness.

“To up our game, Australia should commit to cut carbon pollution by at least 25% in 2020, instead of the current low 5% cut.

“To achieve 25% cuts, parliament should negotiate to put a price and limit on pollution, such as cap and trade program used in Europe, China and California.

“With world leaders in Australia for the G20 in November, the Government should be prepared to show the world that Australia is willing to step up to the plate and raise its ambition to tackle global warming,”

WWF Media Contact:

Daniel Rockett, National Media Manager, 0432 206 592.


Note to editors – key findings from the report:


• Historic performance:
- Four of the six comparators – EU, US, Indonesia and China – reduced the energy intensity of their economy more than Australia over the period 2005-2011.
- For carbon intensity, three of the six countries – China, the EU and Singapore – achieved greater reductions in carbon intensity than Australia over the same time period.
- One specific measure of energy intensity is provided by the energy efficiency of light duty vehicles; on this metric Australia is one of the worst performers in the world.
- Australia has added less renewable energy capacity than four of five comparator countries over 2005-2011.

• Future emissions trends:

- Australia’s five per cent 2020 emissions reduction target is weaker than many comparator countries’ targets, particularly the US and Indonesia.
- Various studies have shown that expected legislative changes, particularly to the carbon trading framework, would lead to Australia falling far short of achieving this goal.
- By contrast, five out of six comparator countries are on track to achieving their emission reduction targets.

• Current and future policies:
- In contrast to Australia’s plans to repeal clean energy legislation, comparator countries have recently increased both their commitment and actions to tackle climate change.
- Recent policy developments in comparator countries point to their commitment to achieving emissions targets and promoting economic growth through green investments.
- The report summarises the key policy measures implemented over the past 12 months in comparator countries, as well as some expected developments.
Black Law windfarm near Carluke in Scotland, UK.
Black Law windfarm near Carluke in Scotland, UK.
© Global Warming Images / WWF Enlarge
Who's building a clean renewable enrgy future infographic.
Who's building a clean renewable enrgy future infographic.
© WWF-Australia Enlarge

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