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Australia A Top 10 Environmental Offender

 

by Energy Matters

Environmental impact study
A new study led by the University of Adelaide's Environment Institute has ranked most of the world's countries for their environmental impact.
 
While Australia has made inroads in uptake of renewable energy sources such as solar power, 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 Corey Bradshaw, 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 ONE.
     
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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