Sunday 9 December 2007

Australia's Climate: poor performance

The environmental group Germanwatch has highlighted Australia's "very poor" performance in its latest Climate Change Performance Index.

The index attempts to enhance transparency in international climate politics.
The index evaluates and compares the climate protection performances of 56 countries that are responsible for more than 90% of global energy-related CO2 emissions.
The only country that performed worse than Australia is the United States, which finished second last, and Saudi Arabia, in last place.
In 2007 Australia was in 47th place out of 56, whilst the 2008 we plummeted to 54th place.
In 2007, NZ was in 22nd place and in 2008, dropped to 31st.
The report says...
  • "Australia's climate policy has more and more deviated from the necessary reduction targets as stated in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change after the last eleven years of John Howard's government".

  • "Australia increased its energy-related emissions by 42 per cent between 1990 and 2005. "The country will only upgrade its position in the index if the newly-elected (prime minister) Kevin Rudd will keep his promises and realise a serious climate protection agenda."
Sweden is doing most to protect the climate, followed by Germany which will meet a target of a 40% cut in greenhouse gases by 2020.

Rudd has backed away from supporting that target, despite Australian delegates in Bali at the UN climate change summit keen to do so.

Labor does have a 2050 target of cutting greenhouse gas pollution by 60%. They will await Ross Garnaut's report early next year to set short term goals.


Anonymous said...

If every council on the eastern seaboard is approving of the clearing of vegetation and hillslopes for residential development, and destroying our natural creek systems in the process, to the same degree as our Council is, then turning around climate change is a long, long, long way off!

Anonymous said...

Curiously, half of Sweden's electricity needs are provided by nuclear plants.

Germany is better with only a quarter producded from nuclear plants.

These figures are from quick and dirty google searches.

Anonymous said...

who cares if power comes from nuclear power. It is cleaner than what we are currently using .. and when was the last time you saw a vew born baby born with 3 eyes??? ... Ideally, what would be good, is if the government helped people to afford to buy solar panels. Solar panels provide a free sorce of electricity. Any excess power can then be re-directed into the power grid to help supply power for industry.
Oh, but I forgot. If solar power is free, cos the sun is always there, the Government would not be able to tax it as it costs nothing. Silly me.

Anonymous said...

Paul, I actually agree with you, many don't - I'm not a NIMBY either :D

I should have enclosed the "better" for germany in quotes.

Anonymous said...

I have a fear of nuclear power plants which I think comes from watching too many episodes of The Simpson's. I agree with Paul about the government not being able to tax sunlight so it's not interested in solar or wind power for that matter.
I also reckon we should be putting more money into high speed,fuel efficient, mass public transport in Cairns(and the rest of Australia) like they are doing in Europe.
EuroStar has a train that goes from Paris to London in 2.5 hours, almost 100kms further than it is from Cairns to Townsville and our service takes 8 hours. How did we fall so far behind?
I know the population of Paris and London is larger than Cairns and Townsville but why can't we have a decent rail service like the rest of the world demands?
No wonder Australia doesn't do well on the Climate Change Performance Index, we have no real options but to travel by car on our crappy roads.
OK, must go , there is a tree waiting to be hugged somewhere...

Anonymous said...

In yesterday's Cairns Post, some of the Environmental survey results were published. Results showed that over a third of people surveyed felt that environmental preservation was the most important ecological issue.
Mayor Byrne was quoted as saying
"people have to live somewhere and its a constant balancing act. The town plan that regulates development in Cairns was made with enormous community consultation."
It is a real travesty that there is no balance where this Council is concerned, the scales are firmly tipped in favour of the developers everytime. Yes, the community did have input into the CairnsPlan, but my and many others had Council comments returned when we asked about protection for wildlife corridors (ie keeping developers at least 25m away), keeping developers out of our creeks (such a simple thing really) etc, "that to do so would stymie development"
I rest my case........
Both the State Goverment and Local Government are complicit in the continuing destruction of our natural environment through the creation of the FNQ2025 plan in which the State govt. wants to push the population masses from SE Qld to North Queensland, and they need housing and infrastructure, and amalgamated Councils to do this without interruption to their plan. Have a read - its a frightening concept. With the gates open and green lights all the way, our environment as we know it does not stand a chance!

Anonymous said...

I must admit that not all the developers are bad developers. There is only the 3 or 4 big boys here in cairns that have free reign. I know a couple small developers who have had their plans rejected or delays for environmental reasons, while on the next block of land developed by one of the big boys have built almost the identical building next door. There is 2 examples of this in Edmonton. Small developers have bought land, submitted plans for development, and one of the big boys have put in objections on environmental reasons to have the plans stopped, or delayed. Then when you look at the abortion of a building being built at Woree, it is hard to see what the problem is. But, unfortunately, this will never change under the current council, and their pandering to the big boy developers. Unfortunately, even if this council is voted out in March, we will have many years of developement on the hillslopes and creeks from Hedleys, CEC, Glencorp etc as they are frantically getting as much approved while Kev has his approved stamp in his hand.

Anonymous said...

What's happening on our hillslopes is just shocking. It is open slather.