Australia’s overall climate change performance poor - new report

Sydney, 15 July 2008

While Australia is more than on track to meet its Kyoto target, its overall climate change performance is poor compared to other leading developed countries according to a new report commissioned by leading environmental organisation WWF and international financial services leader, Allianz. Released in Australia today, Ecofys, an independent consultancy, has developed Climate Change Scorecards for the G8 countries as well as Australia.

Terry Towell, Allianz Australia’s Managing Director, said “a key measure in the Ecofys report’s Climate Change Scorecards is each country’s distance to Kyoto target.”

“The report shows that Australia is on track to meeting its existing international emissions reduction obligations with a distance to Kyoto target of -3.5%-points, which is the same as France and equal second behind Russia, which is somewhat of an exception.”

Table 1: Distance to Kyoto target

Distance to Kyoto Target
Australia -3.5%-points
France -3.5%-points
United Kingdom -2.6%-points
Germany +2.8%-points
Japan +11.3%-points
Italy +16.4%-points
United States +21.4%-points
Canada +31.3%-points

However, distance to Kyoto target is only one of a number of measures that contribute to the Ecofys analysis to obtain a country’s overall Climate Change Scorecard result. Other measures include past emissions, share of renewable energy, emissions per capita, emissions per GDP, CO2 per KWh of electricity generation and energy efficiency in industry. Other measures include a country’s policies for the future in areas like transport, renewables and electricity generation.

The Ecofys report uses a ‘traffic light’ approach to signify overall performance and officially rank each of the G8 countries. Overall results and rankings are based, one third each, on:

Table 2 shows the G8 ranking and also indicates where Australia would be positioned were it similarly ranked, as well as each country’s overall performance in terms of its ‘traffic light’ colour.

Table 2: Climate Change Scorecard – Overall Ranking

Traffic Light
United Kingdom
Unofficial rank1
United States

Greg Bourne, CEO of WWF-Australia, said “in terms of overall Climate Change Scorecard performance, Australia is located in the ‘red zone’ along with Russia, Canada and the US.”

“Australia’s overall poor result indicates that the Government has some tough decisions ahead of it, not least of all in relation to the design of an emissions trading scheme, if it wants to raise Australia’s overall climate change performance.”

View the Climate Change Scorecard - Australia
View the G8 Climate Change Scorecards

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1 Based on an assessment of the number of red, yellow and green ‘traffic lights’ in each countries scorecard it is possible to ascertain Australia’s comparative position had it been formally ranked against the G8 countries by Ecofys.