Here’s some surprising news: Australia is not doing enough to tackle climate change.
The world rankings were released at the Paris climate summit yesterday — just one day after foreign minister Julie Bishop claimed we aren’t just meeting our targets, but beating them — and we ranked 56th.
On the list of 58.
Finding Australia in the rankings on The Guardian website took no less than seven downward scrolls on an iPhone screen and then there we were, right above Kazakstan and Saudi Arabia. Bravo.
“We have literally been called the worst performing industrial country in the world when it comes to tackling climate change,” Waleed Aly stated on The Project last night.
In a segment, which has been widely shared today, Aly broke down the climate debate for viewers and urged the Australian government to take more decisive action.
Watch it here:
He gleefully lampooned the scepticism of commentators such as Andrew Bolt and questioned Australia’s ongoing refusal to end diesel fuel rebates for miners and farmers.
Aly explained that the diesel fuel rebate costs Australia in excess of $6 billion every year, “That’s money paid to fossil fuel producers or people who buy their products.”
He said, “Right around the world, developed countries are being encouraged to put an end to subsidies for fossil fuels and invest more in renewable energy.
“At the Paris climate talks almost 40 countries signed up to phase out subsidies that encourage the use of coal, gas and oil.
“Our PM promised $1 billion over the next five years to fight climate change, which is great, but when it came to joining other nations and ditching the diesel subsidies, he walked away.”
Aly believes that it’s our refusal — on both sides of politics — to embrace important policies like these that have us performing so poorly in the global rankings.
He also believes that climate sceptics like Andrew “no warming of the earth’s atmosphere for around 18 years now” Bolt don’t have a leg to stand on.
“Let me nip this in the bud, Andrew Bolt, before you launch into your whole ‘but it has stopped warming’ line that you’ve been running for the last few years,” Aly said, before playing a clip of climate scientist Carl Mears, whose graph Bolt frequently references.
“It’s pretty clear that the globe has warmed over the last 18 years,” Mears explained. “When you do real science you can’t just use the data sets that fit your pre-drawn conclusions, but you really need to look at all the data together.”
Aly wrapped up by saying that now “is not the time for our leaders to just walk away.”
“We can’t go on denying climate change is real and we can’t go on finding emotional or even incorrect reasons not to act on it.
“If we don’t stop subsidising fossil fuels, then it’s us, our children, their children, whose futures will be in doubt.”