Australia has been ranked 55th – ahead of only Chinese Taipei, South Korea, Iran, the USA and Saudi Arabia – in the latest Climate Change Performance Index, released overnight at the UN climate talks in Katowice, Poland.

Sweden and Morocco, which has significantly expanded its renewable energy profile, come out with the best scores in the index, which looks at the countries responsible for 90 per cent of global climate pollution.

The index is prepared by Germanwatch, Climate Action Network and the NewClimate Institute and is released annually at the UN’s major end-of-year climate change negotiations. The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) was an adviser to the policy assessment.

Australia was ranked ‘very low’ in three of the index’s four categories – greenhouse emissions, energy use and climate policy. In the fourth category, renewable energy, Australia was ranked at the bottom of the ‘low’ performers, for our government’s failure to set plans for renewable energy beyond 2020.

“While Australian students are taking to the streets calling for our government to get serious about climate change, this ranking shows again that we are right at the back of the class when it comes to real action,” said ACF Chief Executive Officer, Kelly O’Shanassy.

“Australia is rated as one of the worst countries for climate pollution per person and one of the worst for its national climate policy.

“The Morrison Government has no credible emission reduction policy, no regulation of transport emissions and no plans to phase out coal.

“The latest greenhouse emissions figures show Australia’s climate pollution is on the rise and there’s no sign we will be able to meet our international commitments under the Paris Agreement, even the inadequate 2030 target.

“Meanwhile, the Morrison Government supports Adani’s proposed coal mine, which will further add to the world’s warming problem and bring on more heatwaves, more bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef and more bushfires.

“Voters in Wentworth and across Victoria recently sent a strong message to all political parties and candidates: if you try to ignore climate change, there are political consequences.”

Read the Climate Change Performance Index results and the Australia scorecard.

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Journalists with enquiries may contact Tom Arup on 0402 482 910 or Josh Meadows on 0439 342 992. For all other enquiries please call 1800 223 669 or email action@acf.org.au.