WEDNESDAY 05 MAY, 2010 |
Australia A Top 10 Environmental Offender
A new study led by the University of Adelaide's Environment
has ranked most of the world's countries for their environmental
While Australia has made inroads in uptake of renewable
sources such as solar
, the nation has the unpleasant distinction of having made the top ten
list of worst offenders.
In absolute global terms, according to the study, the 10 countries with the
worst environmental impact are (in order, worst first): Brazil, USA, China,
Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, India, Russia, Australia and Peru.
The indicators used for gauging environmental impact were natural forest loss,
habitat conversion, fisheries and other marine captures, fertiliser use, water
pollution, carbon emissions from land use and species threat.
According to the Environment Institute's Director of Ecological Modelling Professor
, there was no evidence to support the popular idea that
environmental destruction stabilises or declines past a certain threshold of per
capital wealth - a concept known as the Kuznets curve hypothesis.
The study has been published in the peer-reviewed science journal PLoS
In relation to emissions; coal contributes significantly to greenhouse gas
production in Australia. According to information from the U.S Energy
Information Administration, Australia ranked number 8 in the world for coal
combustion in 2008, having burned 145, 616,759 tonnes of coal during that year.
Added to that total are the emissions the nation ships offshore in the form of
exports of the fossil fuel.
The Australian Coal Association says Australia's coal exports in 2006/07
amounted to 245,000,000 tonnes. Coal is Australia’s largest commodity export
and was valued at $A22.5 billion in 2006/2007.
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