Australia fell 10 places in the 2016 Environmental Performance Index, ranking 13th out of 180 countries. This index has been deduced by the Environment Minister Greg Hunt as the most credible and scientifically-based analysis in the world.
The Environmental Performance Index was developed by Yale University. This index ranks the performance of each nation in protection of human health from environmental harm and protection of ecosystems based on nine assessment areas that include air quality, climate and energy, forests and water resources.
Australia, however, was ranked top for water and sanitation, as well as for the exposure to environmental risks. The country only achieved mid-rankings for biodiversity, agriculture and forestry.
The country ranked 150th for its carbon emissions for electricity generation each kilowatt hour and finished 82nd in the overall climate and energy category, making this Australia’s worst performance. Saudi Arabia is the only wealthy nation that ranked lower than Australia.
The survey follows a report showing investor confidence in Australia’s large-scale renewable energy industry has been reduced because of doubts in the sector. In 2015, the country’s greenhouse gases rose up to 3.8 million tons, 5.1 percent higher than in June 2014.
The report is just on time as Labor began to discuss with industries, employers, unions and various community groups on how to make Australia a country with zero-net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and aim to make renewable supply as the source of half of the county’s electricity by 2030.
Labor’s spokesperson Mark Butler laments that this report shows how other countries improved their index scores unlike Australia, which seemed to be moving backward in terms of environmental policies. Greens deputy leader and environment spokeswoman Larissa Waters added that the inaction on global warming is shameful.
Finland, Iceland, Sweden and Denmark claimed the top four spots in Yale’s 2016 rankings. Overall, nations have improved in many areas but progress is still slow.