Australia needs to step up climate change efforts

Australia still has some way to go in its efforts to combat climate change, especially if it's going to keep pace with other developed nations.

The latest Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) has been published, which doesn't reflect well on Australia's efforts to reduce carbon emissions. It ranked in 60th place, making it the second-worst performer of all after Saudi Arabia.

It had a score of just 35.57 on the index, placing it below a wide variety of countries including the Slovak Republic, Mexico, Turkey and Ireland.

There were some surprises on the latest CCPI, as Morocco joined the top ten as a result of its "extraordinary renewables policy". Mexico also performed well, moving inside the top 20 in light of its climate policy changes.

The research, which is compiled by Germanwatch and CAN Europe, highlighted that a number of factors need to come together to make a country successful in reducing climate change.

"Data showing declining emission growth rates together with promising political signs, suggesting that we are able to stabilise global emissions," noted Index Author Jan Burck.

"The Paris Climate Summit in 2015, where countries will make new commitments for climate action, could be a turning point in this respect."

A number of strategies are currently in the headlines throughout Australia at the moment, such as the review of the Renewable Energy Target and recent repeal of the carbon tax.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) called on electricity resellers throughout the country to make sure any cost savings are passed on to customers. Since the carbon tax was scrapped, there is an opportunity for electricity prices to come down - but only if companies spread the impact of the reductions.

Thousands of people throughout the country receive their energy from on-sellers, which is why the ACCC is focusing on encouraging fairness and transparency in the sector.

Posted by Richard West