AUSTRALIA is among the worst greenhouse gas emitters in the world with the highest coal consumption per capita than any other country on earth, a new report has revealed.
The Green Innovation Index: International Edition, put together by Next 10, analyses and ranks the economic and energy performance of the world’s 50 largest economies, including Australia.
The report revealed Australia is ranked 45th out of 50 for per capita emissions, only marginally better than gulf nations such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
Australia’s total energy consumption is higher than France, Italy and California despite having a smaller population and Australia also ranked among the worst for energy use (43rd) per capita and electricity use (45th) per capita.
The report noted some of the world’s largest economies were growing their GDPs while shrinking their carbon footprints as clean tech venture capital investment boomed.
The Climate Council’s Professor Will Steffen said the report emphasized the importance of Australia’s role in tackling climate change.
“As the 5th largest producer of coal and the highest consumers of coal per capita, we have a crucial role to play in helping the world to avoid the most dangerous impacts of climate change,” he said.
“The pollution from Australia’s coal resources alone could take us two-thirds of the way to a two-degree rise in global temperature.
“That’s why the world is expected Australia to be a lifter and not a leaner and to join our trading partners in taking action to keep our climate safe.”
Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie said many of the world’s largest economies were turbocharging their economic growth through the switch to renewables.
“Globally, we’re now adding more capacity for renewable power than for fossil fuels and investment in clean energy surged globally by 63% last year,” she said.
“Australia, despite being one of the sunniest and windiest countries in the world, did not crack the top 20 for share of renewables in electricity, which means we are missing out on the economic growth seen in places like California, where clean energy investment grew by 153% last year.”
Ms McKenzie said researchers could now say for sure that the drop in global carbon emissions was due to the booming clean energy industry.
“There’s now a clear path for countries like Australia to grow their economies and cut carbon emissions at the same time.”
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Climate Council Media Release 180515.pdf