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Sunday, 26 October 2014

Australia awarded last place in the Global Green Economy Index - The AIM Network

Australia awarded last place in the Global Green Economy Index - The AIM Network

Australia awarded last place in the Global Green Economy Index

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

See the GGEI report in full here:

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.

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