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Australia awarded last place in the Global Green Economy Index

Image from costaricanews.com

Image from costaricanews.com

In a mere two years Australia has fallen from a ranking of 4th to 37th in supporting clean energy to combat climate change. Dr Anthony Horton reports.

According to the 2014 Global Green Economy Index (GGEI) report, Australia’s leadership efforts with respect to climate change has seen it ranked last out of 60 countries. The index, which was first published in 2010, measures the green economic performance of each country based on four components- leadership and climate change, efficiency sectors, markets and investment and environment and natural capital. According to the GGEI, Australia’s ranking is largely due to factors including negative media coverage, “nonconstructive behaviour” in international forums and overall poor performance in climate change.

In terms of actions that support clean energy and combat climate change, Australia was ranked 37th, which represents a dramatic fall from the 4th rank attained only two years ago. To put this rank of 37th into perspective, developing countries Kenya and Rwanda were ranked 17th and 27th respectively. As a result of Australia’s performance, it was placed in a bracket with Japan, the Netherlands and the United States as countries where their perceived green economic performance dramatically exceeded their actual performance measured by the GGEI. The report concluded that Australia’s poor result meant that much needed attention should be devoted to the areas identified above (eg. media coverage, poor climate change performance), and that as a nation, Australia should build on its strong performance with respect to markets and investment (eg. cleantech innovation and commercialisation).

The GGEI report has at least one interesting parallel to the 2014 Global Innovation Index report I discussed in a previous blog, which ranked Australia highly in terms of expenditure on research and development (13th) but much lower in terms of knowledge and technology outputs (31st) and the communication of these outputs (78th). With each report that is published and as a pattern emerges in terms of the conclusions and recommendations of these reports, one would think that it should make our political leaders take notice of the change in how Australia is perceived as a global citizen, not just the change in how Australia’s environmental performance is perceived. This is particularly poignant given that in previous blogs I have discussed technologies that are being implemented in Australia without Government support despite proven track records around the world spanning more than 30 years.

This article was first published on Dr Horton’s blog.

Dr Anthony Horton is an Environmental Professional with extensive knowledge of Western Australian and Commonwealth Environmental Protection legislation and its application in the State Government Department of Environment and Conservation and the mining industry in WA.


16 comments

  1. Florence nee Fedup

    Seems we have an 18 that has develop Obelo fever in Queensland Stand ready for the shit that will come. Remins one of the early days of Aids.

  2. Roswell

    One wonders how bad things can get.

  3. Gregory T

    Roswell, you are not alone.

  4. Rob031

    Wow. In the two and a half hours that this article has been up there have been over 1000 Facebook recommends. I wonder if this represents a record for an AIMN article.

    Well done Michael.

  5. Florence nee Fedup

    Does one feel it is like the lull before the storm,. That big uproar is coming. No idea what it will be.

  6. Michael Taylor

    It’s a good response, Rob. The record – though it doesn’t appear on the particular article since we changed from WordPress.com to WordPress.org – is 70,000 in 24 hours. Yes, you read that right . . . 70,000.

    Anyway, on this particular article the credit should go to Dr Horton. 🙂

  7. Kerri

    If I were a citizen of another country, I would look to Australia and see….
    1/ won’t accept Asylum Seekers or uphold International conventions on refugees.
    2/ locks away women and children and men who seek asylum in third world countries.
    3/ refuses to act on climate change and rewinds worthwhile practices.
    4/ exports coal to the world.
    5/ refuses to contribute to assisting in Ebola crisis.
    6/ survived GFC but is very self serving and lacking in generosity of wealth and spirit.
    7/ thinks it is OK the way it is.
    8/ utterly conceited Government and therefore majority who voted for them.
    I wish I were the citizen of another country.

  8. Annie Byam

    Great article Michael ……. and thanks to Dr.Anthony Horton.

    –=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

    Kerri —- how right you are.

    Although I think there is a wavering of feeling – between a bit of anti-Aussie ……. and mourning the fact that we are sinking into the mire – because of this idiot we ( disenchantedly and misguidedly ) barely scrambled in at the last election – 2013.

    There appears to be many overseas who are asking ” what the …… ” has happened, ‘down under’ ? They are not happy about it, at all.

  9. stephentardrew

    Whoopee Michael we got a meddle for being last.
    Can’t complain mate better than nothing.
    Dear Leader (a pox on his intestines and bowels) will take it as golden badge of honour.
    The fool has no idea what an own goal is.
    Just keeps staring into the headlights of disaster with that idiot grin on his face.
    As long as the coal keeps coming down the chute he couldn’t give a damn.
    Just get that sciency thing outta my face will ya, ya bunch of greedy numb skull serfs.
    Hey look at Florida and Kentucky when can we rig, oops I mean make voters accountable.
    George is working on it so don’t you worry about that.

  10. Kaye Lee

    While the Coalition go round high-fiving each other for their attack on our environment the rest of the world looks on in bemusement.

    Warsaw November 2013 – This year’s Colossal Fossil goes to Australia. The new Australian Government has won its first major international award – the Colossal Fossil. The delegation came here with legislation in its back pocket to repeal the carbon price, failed to take independent advice to increase its carbon pollution reduction target and has been blocking progress in the loss and damage negotiations. Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi!

    June 10 2014, Bonn – Germany: CAN bestows the first Fossil Award of the Bonn UNFCCC negotiation session to Australia in recognition of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s stupendously brazen denial of the catastrophic risks posed by climate change in his effort to form an alliance of “like minded” countries opposed to action on climate change, already dubbed by some as a new “flat earth society.”

    CAN salutes the Abbott’s commitment and consistency in his willful blindness to the catastrophic economic costs incurred by climate change.

    He has also recently announced his intention to keep climate change out of the upcoming G20 talks hosted by Australia arguing that climate change is inappropriate because such talks are primarily about economics.

    Prime Minister Abbott must have missed the IPCC memo which spells out that climate change is the economic problem facing our age – it’s already costing us, but it doesn’t cost the earth to save the world.

    He is clearly looking for recognition of his visionary approach to climate change, and CAN is proud to be among the first to step out and congratulate his dedication to the fossilized past. [In case you were wondering – no, this isn’t a joke. Abbott has really done this. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.]

    http://www.climatenetwork.org/fossil-of-the-day

  11. flohri1754

    This is an award that the current Aussie government has well and truly earned ……

  12. stephentardrew

    I have been thinking about our current demise and why it is so difficult to expose plain facts and truths. Why has the issue of social justice and the impact of the likes of Gough fallen on so many deaf ears? Amongst all our appeals to justice one thing, and one thing alone, has completely undermined progressives goals and objectives. The banks and financial sectors, with varying degrees of complicity by right and left world wide, allowed one of the the greatest crimes and heists to go almost entirely unpunished. They stole trillions of dollars while forcing countries into poverty and hardship yet got bailed out by the citizens through quantitative easing and then just walked away with the prize with no sign of guilt or remorse.

    Let me reiterate. Since 2008 the banks and financial sectors pulled of one of the greatest crimes in history causing unbelievable pain and hardship tantamount to torturing and impoverishing vast numbers of citizens with absolutely no consequences. Talk about moral hazard. They saw none. We are still living with the remnants of this debacle and people really are starting to believe that the only law is survival of the fittest. That is why social Darwinism has been so easily absorbed by political acolytes, left and right, and religious ideologues.

    Criminals are no longer shady individuals working behind the scenes they are operating in plain sight of us all with the complicity of the two main stream political parties. Just remember as a citizen you can loose everything and receive absolutely no justice or recompense. Australia, with the good management of Labor, managed to do an excellent job in staving off the worst effects however they were demonised and vilified by a complicit press and lying opposition.

    This is not Nazism, Fascism, totalitarianism it is social engineering on a scale we thought impossible. That the majority of citizens would be so afraid as to let these criminals run the world is really frightening. These people have turned crime into an acceptable appeal to “too big to fail” while destroying the social contract to provide adequate support for those in need. They have turned their victims (you and me) into perpetrators and themselves into victims while increasing inequality and vilifying the underprivileged.

    Democracy has been replaced by oligarchic totalitarianism in which the Banks, financial sector and corporations rule by dint of ownership of the the means of production, wealth, media and by buying off politicians. The TPP is the final nail in the coffin.

    The LNP is a criminal organization complicit with, and a mirror of, the US Tea Party which is simply a front for bigoted corporate power. The Labor party and the left, by being so enmeshed in economic-rationalism, have been less draconian yet inevitably complicit in the same type of criminality.

    I finally realised what the real problem is. Through news speak, cultural conformity, and an insidious appeal to equal representation in the media, they deflected any suggestion that they are in fact criminals though pretense that they believe in representational democracy. Nothing is further than the fact. “They do not”.

    These people are criminals in league with the perpetrators of one of the greatest economic crimes of all time. They are using the environment and other issues as deflections from the core fact that they are unmitigated criminals who are stealing the wealth of nations.

    It is time to start using the word criminal as a factual and empirically supportable description of the current political environment.

    My old Labor would never have allowed this state of affairs to happen so the critique of Labor as well as conservatives is well and truly warranted. They have become so deeply enmeshed in capitalist oligarchy that they have lost sight of representational democracy because they could not stand up against the criminal elites and thus they become part and parcel of the problems.

    We have been bullied into calling criminals “too big to fail” and giving them a voice they do not deserve. They do not represent democracy or the people.

    Criminals every one of them.

    Sorry to be so long winded however I am sick of being deflected by issue after issue which takes us from the core facts that we are being governed by criminals.

    It can never be reiterated enough.

    One only has to go through Kaye’s list after list of infractions to understand how corrupt these politicians are. Labor if you do not stand up to these criminals you will lose any credibility you ever had.

  13. Florence nee Fedup

    Looks like no one is buy Abbott’s double talk yesterday. Yes, all about increasing GST, nothing more.

    I think he might have problems with new Indonesian Foreign Minister. The President did say he told Abbott, if he had problems, to talk to the FM, Asses that he believes in communication.

    I am looking forward to Abbott’s welcome at APEC next month, and G20. I an sure that Ebola will be top of list, with carbon emission second in line, I doubt whether Putin will get a mention.

    Another issue not going Abbott’s way, is taking passports off alleged terrorists. In Canada and here, has led to tragedy, when two men became enraged at not getting their passports back,

    This week we will have another farce, that of childcare.

  14. stephentardrew

    Beens seen before but is worth posting again.

    And this guy is one of theirs

    “I think the Australian government must be the most ignorant government I’ve ever seen in the sense, right across the board, on immigration or about anything else, they’re totally unwilling to listen to science or logic.”

    Lord Deben: Former UK Environment Minister UK Conservative Party

    “Criminals Every One of Them”.

  15. Ruth Russell

    Shame on our Australian politicians who have supported coal and gas instead of wind and solar.

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