Australia lagging the world in climate action

The Smith School at the University of Oxford has released a report on international efforts to address climate change. Australia is rated "Poor".


Figure 1 - A map of countries of the world rated in terms of national actions and commitments on climate change. Annex I countries are rated based on submissions pertinent to the Cancun Agreements.
'Very good': meet IPCC recommendations, Annex I: 25 - 40% reduction by 2020, Non-Annex I: submitted NAMA, 15-30% below BAU by 2020, or vocal in pressing for action.

Those countries not participating in the UNFCCC process are coloured grey.

Via Desdemona Despair.

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But hang on - we're miles ahead of everyone else! I heard Abbott and even John Howard saying so. Next you'll be telling me this whole debate has been hopelessly skewed by systematic corporate misinformation...

Apologies for being OT, but this is a very amusing story.

The "skeptics" love to complain that the BBC's coverage of climate change is unbalanced and alarmist. The BBC commissioned a review of it's coverage which has concluded that... the "skeptics" get too much airtime!

By andrew adams (not verified) on 20 Jul 2011 #permalink

Yes, andrew, 2+2 â  4.5 - a point 'our' ABC could also do with absorbing...

Hey, look on the bright side, you're not as bad as the US, Canada, Iran or Saudi Arabia...

Further to #2 with further apologies for being off topic.

Prof Jones review is worth reading, particularly from page 66 onwards - Man-made global warming: a microcosm of "false balance"?

[BBC Trust - Review of impartiality and accuracy of the BBC's coverage of science](

You can probably hear the howls of anguish and disbelief from the Bishop Hill blog in Australia.

By lord_sidcup (not verified) on 20 Jul 2011 #permalink

lord_sidcup #5

I can already hear deniers at the wrong end of a game of 'Chinese Whispers' coming out with something like, '... and this is from Professor Jones of well known 'no significant warming' and 'destroyed data' malfeasance'. Hint deniers â wrong Professor Jones

That aside it is about time and I read with amusement in today's The Times (UK), (I never buy this but the wife brought in a copy of today's it being given away free) which I felt like donning NBC gear before approaching, Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation' (Lord Nigel Lawson's offspring) complaining,

'It is quit apparent that the report is using the 'science-is-settled' mantra as a smokescreen to silence critics of climate taxes and green policies'

I won't bother linking to the 'BBC's 'False balance' distorting scientific issues, report says' article in the The Times which is, I believe, behind a paywall.

Tut, tut, those dirty communist socialist fascist greens get in everywhere Benny â get used to it!

"You can probably hear the howls of anguish and disbelief from the Bishop Hill conspiracy book promo blog in Australia".

Corrected that for you lord_s.

Australia doing better than Canada?! Ouch! I really thought we would have beaten Australia in this regard. sigh. Embarrassing, disgusting, disheartening.

By Daniel J. Andrews (not verified) on 21 Jul 2011 #permalink

But for the overweening ambition of Tony Abbott, and for the vote of just one of his Coalition colleagues in 2007, Australia would be several shades greener on that map.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 21 Jul 2011 #permalink

Daniel J. Andrews @ 8

You must be kidding! The minsiter of the environment is a oil industry shillwho seems to think that his job is to protecat the Oil Sands and the P.M is a fundamentalist christian who probably thinks is his job to help bring on ammageddon

By jrkrideau (not verified) on 21 Jul 2011 #permalink

I haven't followed the story that closely but surely you Aussies deserve some credit for your government's carbon tax proposals?

By andrew adams (not verified) on 21 Jul 2011 #permalink

I note that Desdemona links only to a Guardian image, which itself has no link to the original. I would like to see their criteria, since any such attempt to rate all nations on a single scale risks reducing certain complexities to a point that is not very meaningful.

For instance, I would like to know how Indonesia gets the top rating given its current rate of deforestation is one of the single largest sources of CO2 in the world (as well as representing the destruction of a major carbon sink).

Byron Smith @ 11

Just follow the link in the first line of Tim's post.

It's the latest report listed (2011-07-18 I think)

By jrkrideau (not verified) on 21 Jul 2011 #permalink

Seems like the US is doing their bit - by demolishing the infrastructure of Iraq and Afghanistan it would appear that they've improved them compared to their neighbours.


I unappologize on behalf of Canada. Canadians are doing a fine job. Go Canucks!

On the other hand, I do apologize for incorrectly spelling a fake word.

Wonder how the maps became different? The one Tim links has Australia as "Poor", while the one over at Desdemona Despairs has Australia as "Very Poor".

Also, looking at the report, I note that the measuring criteria for countries are different.

e.g. Annex I countries rated against their efforts to meet the IPCC recommendation of 25-40% reduction by 2020, while non-Annex I countries are recommended to get 15-30% below business-as-usual, or be "vocal in pressing action."

China in particular is a non-Annex I country, so if they are 'vocal in pressing action', does that get them a decent rating?

Not saying that non-Annex I countries shouldn't have less strenuous targets than Annex I countries (I think Annex I countries should be doing the heavy lifting), but it is an obvious and easy way for skeptics to challenge the conclusions implied by the map.

The one over at Desdemona Despairs came from The Guardian, which seems to have redrawn the map, and made an error. In the original map it is quite hard to distinguish "Poor" from "Very Poor". I added a blue background to it to make the difference clearer.

By Tim Lambert (not verified) on 21 Jul 2011 #permalink

So "efforts" is defined such that Brazil's decimation of the world's large rainforest still garners them a top mark.

I suppose you can say the alcoholic who reduces his consumption from 20 to 10 cans a day has made better "efforts" than the non-drinker who has started drinking 1 can a day.

My state of California has its share of problems, but if broken out separately would probably rocket upward in status to "Poor", so that's something. Heck, maybe even "Average".

#21 David - if you looked at per capita C02 emissions, the metaphor you created would switch sides. Emerging market countries increasing their low per-capita emissions don't seem that bad.

Sounds like very good news to me Timbo. :-)

By Billy Bob Hall (not verified) on 24 Jul 2011 #permalink