Australia has been ranked as the worst climate performer among comparable developed countries.
ince nations pledged in the 2015 Paris agreement to take action to limit global warming, Australia has been found wanting, a think tank said ahead of a key climate conference in Scotland later this month.
The UN summit in Glasgow, known as COP26, will bring together thousands of diplomats, scientists and environmental campaigners to assess progress since nations agreed in the Paris accord to limit warming to less than 2C.
The meeting in Glasgow is widely seen as the last chance to hold global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.
Australian prime minister Scott Morrison plans to attend the conference, starting on October 31, but his governing coalition are arguing over the adoption of a tougher national carbon reduction target.
Mr Morrison wants to commit Australia to reducing carbon emissions to net zero by 2050, but some lawmakers in the conservative government’s junior coalition partner, the Nationals party, are resisting.
“Australia ranks dead last among comparable nations in addressing the climate challenge at its source – by cutting emissions,” the report from the Climate Council said.
The council is an independently funded non-profit that replaced the Climate Commission, a publicly-funded agency abolished in 2013 by the newly-elected conservative government in which Mr Morrison was a cabinet minister.
The report ranked Australia last among 31 wealthy, developed countries on the criteria of emissions reduction performances. Britain was first, followed by Switzerland and Sweden. The US was 23rd.
Australia was tied for last with Canada in terms of fossil fuel extraction and use. Next from the bottom was Norway, then the US. The Czech Republic came first, with Sweden and Switzerland sharing second place.
Major emitters including China, India and Russia were not included in the tables.
Australia has not budged from its 2015 pledge to reduce emissions by 26pc to 28pc below 2005 levels by 2030, despite many countries adopting far more ambitious targets.
The Climate Council recommended Australia reduce emissions by 75pc below 2005 levels by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2035.