The Lost Years: Counting the costs of climate inaction in Australia

31.03.22 By

A lack of climate action at the national level is a defining leadership failure of the past eight years. Australians are living with the everyday consequences of this, and we must work quickly to prevent catastrophe. 

The Climate Council’s new report “The Lost Years: Counting the costs of climate inaction in Australia” provides a detailed overview of the Federal Government’s approach to climate change since the election of the Liberal-National Coalition in 2013. The Climate Council has assessed the Federal Government’s climate performance over the past eight years in detail and finds there’s been a complete and catastrophic failure to act on the climate crisis. 

When asked to rate the government’s performance on climate change and response to worsening extreme weather events, everyday Australians gave an overall 3 out of 10. One in four (26%) surveyed rated the Morrison Government a 0 for ‘not doing anything at all’. 

The past eight years have been characterised by cuts to climate-related funding and effective programs, the rejection of advice from scientists and both national and international expert bodies, a lack of credible climate policy and claims that mislead the public on what’s being done as well as what’s possible.

Australia’s next Federal Government must adopt credible climate policies as a matter of extreme urgency.

Key Findings

1. The Climate Council has assessed the Federal Government’s climate performance over the past eight years in detail and finds there’s been a complete and catastrophic failure to act on the climate crisis.

2. A lack of climate action at the national level is a defining leadership failure of the past eight years. Australians are living with the everyday consequences of this, and we must work quickly to prevent catastrophe.

3. The Federal Government has covered up poor performance with misleading claims, dubious accounting and censorship.

4. Australia’s next government must adopt credible climate policies as a matter of extreme urgency. This includes transparent and accurate reporting of Australia’s climate performance.