Australia second-last on climate

Australia is increasingly becoming a international pariah on the issue of climate change, with a new report ranking as the worst-performing developed country on climate-change action.

Australia ranked 60 out of 61 industrialised nations, performing better than only Saudi Arabia in a new survey by European non-governmental organisations.

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The Climate Change Performance Index evaluates countries based on their carbon dioxide emissions per capita and share of renewable energy.

The report blames the “new conservative Australian government” and a reduction in emission reduction targets for Australia dropping 21 places since last year.

“The new conservative Australian government has apparently made good on last year’s announcement and reversed the climate policies previously in effect,” the report said.

“As a result, the country lost a further 21 positions in the policy evaluation compared to last year, thus replacing Canada as the worst performing industrial country.”

Voters and Julie Bishop unimpressed

The survey comes as a new Fairfax Ipsos poll shows more than half of Australians think the Abbott government isn’t doing enough to tackle climate change.

According to the poll taken last weekend, 57 per cent of people polled think the government isn’t doing enough, while 33 per cent believe the government’s action is “just right”.

Only seven per cent of voters think the government is doing “too much”.

Speculation is mounting a rift is forming between Tony Abbott and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop after revelations the government was not prepared to send a representative to climate change talks.

Ms Bishop told Fairfax media she had to demand to be sent to the United Nations Climate Summit in Peru after her initial requests were blocked.

Last week it was rumoured Ms Bishop went ‘bananas’ at Mr Abbott for deciding to send Trade Minister Andrew Robb – who shares the prime minister’s conservative climate change views – to Peru as Ms Bishop’s chaperone.

Climate Institute associate director Erwin Jackson said an Australian minister not attending the talks would have “reinforced many countries views that Australia isn’t taking climate change as seriously as it should”.

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