The response of Australia to climate change is one of the worst in the G20 with a lack of politics, dependence on fossil fuels and an increase in emissions that leave the country exposed "economically, politically and ecologically", according to a new international report.
The progress of Australia in achieving its already "ambitious" Paris climate goals was the worst third, the energy of fossil fuels was on the rise and the policies to address the high emissions of transport and deforestation were also among the worst in all G20 countries.
The Brown to Green the report, now in its fifth year, takes stock of the performance of the G20 countries on adaptation and climate change mitigation in all key sectors and in the financial sector.
The managing director of Climate Analytics, Bill Hare, an Australian co-author of the report, told Guardian Australia: "Australia is behind [up] the climate action in almost all dimensions." Australian issues are on the rise and there is virtually no policy to reduce them ".
About 14 non-governmental groups, thinktanks and research institutes complete the report, funded by the World Bank, by the ClimateWorks Foundation based in the United States and by the German Environment Ministry.
Through the G20, the report states that limiting global warming to 1.5 ° C would reduce negative impacts by 70%, compared to allowing global temperatures to rise by 3 ° C. Extreme weather events currently cost the G20 countries around 142 billions of dollars a year.
Although the report does not provide an overall ranking, Australia appears consistently among the worst in the analysis of the report.
India and Australia were the only two G20 countries that had not introduced, or were not considering, policies to assess greenhouse gas emissions, the report said.
Only South Korea and Canada were farther away from Australia than the commitments made for the Paris climate commitments.
On deforestation, the report states that Australia was the only developed country that was a "deforestation hotspot", but had no policies to address it.
Australia ranked third in emissions per transport per capita and the report found that "Australia in particular did not have a meaningful policy" in the transport sector. The per capita emissions of air transport were 53 times higher than those of India.
Australia, along with Russia, has had no policies to move away from gasoline cars, nor policies to decarbonise the heavy vehicle sector and no policy to move people on public transport, the report said.
Australia, along with the United States and Saudi Arabia, has produced high emissions from the construction industry. Australia had no building codes regarding the renovation of older buildings.
All this lack of action, said Hare, has left Australia and its people exposed to climate change "economically, politically and environmentally".
The hare told Guardian Australia: "The country's leadership is actually telling lies about their performance and contradicting information from their own government.
"The country is led by politicians who in one way or another deny science or are in fact denying it, and actively and intentionally oppose or hinder climate policies."
Referring to the current coalition-led government, Hare said it was the same political party that repealed climate legislation, such as the carbon pricing mechanism, and "has since done everything possible to undermine any level of action ".
He said the country's position was at odds with its opportunities in renewable energy, which it had not exploited as completely as possible.
"Australia has one of the best solar energy potentials and wind potential in general in any of the G20 countries," he said.
"Australia is not transforming its energy system, concentrating on building coal and gas and has paid no attention to the need to move to a zero-carbon economy."