Ziggi Browning, Mullumbimby
There is an often repeated bald-faced lie about Australia’s contribution to global CO2 emissions that needs to be comprehensively and decisively quashed.
Politicians, shock jocks, and other lackeys of the fossil-fools industry say that Australia contributes only one per cent of emissions and therefore our making big reductions would be insignificant if the ‘bigger polluters’ don’t do so first.
Putting aside that basically everyone else is actually doing much more to reduce emissions than we are, let’s debunk this one per cent bollocks.
That one per cent of emissions puts us around 16th in the world, which is an appalling rank for a country ranked around 55th in population.
Compare emissions per capita and it’s even worse, with our ranking being around 12th behind mostly small island nations and the Arab states who are burning a crap load of fossil fuels to make it possible to live in difficult, isolated locations.
But if you think about it in realistic terms of where the CO2 originally comes from, Australia is much worse than that.
The world is busily burning fossil fuels that were dug up or pumped out of the ground from somewhere, and a huge chunk of them came from right here.
Australia is a massive exporter of coal and gas – we export more coal than anyone else. And what is the most polluting fossil fuel of all? Coal of course.
In terms of country of origin for CO2 emissions, Australia is the third biggest carbon producer in the world with a massive 1.1Gt annually.
There is a climate-change catastrophe unfolding around us. We Australians are contributing more to the problem than almost anyone. As the original source of so much CO2 and also as one of the world’s wealthiest peoples, we have both an opportunity and a responsibility to act decisively.