Australia's reputation as a valuable force in developing an international climate policy has been trashed largely due to its poor ranking in the recent climate change performance index and its inability to send a representative for the United Nations' climate change talks in Warsaw, Poland.
According to reports, Australia is being viewed as an "anti-climate" country that is intentionally going against any consensus in climate change talks based on domestic policies. Australia relies on exports and coal for power. It also opposes the statements of a climate finance position paper prepared by climate science experts from the U.S., New Zealand, Canada and Japan.
Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott has refused to support the green climate fund supported by the United Nations. In the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka, Australia joins with Canada in snubbing the green climate fund. Mr Abbott called it the "green capital fund" while calling the Clean Energy Finance Corp. as the "Bob Brown Bank" with Brown being a former head of the Australian Greens.
The decision of Prime Minister Abbott to not send a minister or representative to Warsaw has frustrated climate change negotiators from all over the world. EU is reportedly angry at Australia's Coalition government for repealing the carbon tax.
Sinking performance in international efforts to fight global warming
Australia sinks to the bottom of the climate change performance index. The country has also become a negative influence on international efforts against climate change after dropping nearly at the bottom of the world's list of greenhouse gas emitters. With carbon tax in danger of being repealed by the Prime Minister Tony Abbott's Coalition government, Australia has no clear policy against climate change and global warming.
Australia fell to 57 out of 61 in the climate change performance index. Denmark became the top performing country against climate change followed by the United Kingdom in second place.
The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has declared 2013 as among the top 10 warmest years on record since 1850. The rising sea levels due to climate change have aggravated the effect of strong cyclones like Typhoon Haiyan that left the Philippines overwhelmed and under a state of calamity.
According to WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud, the increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere meant warmer temperatures in the future and more extreme weather. In climate change talks with almost 200 representatives from nations around the world, he said the first nine months of 2013 tied with the first nine months of 2003 with average global land and ocean surface temperature of over 48 degrees Celsius.