Australia is the only G20 country that has gone backwards on its low-carbon competitiveness since 1995 according to the Global Climate Leadership Review 2012 produced by The Climate Institute and US industrial giant General Electric.

The Climate Institute and GE have developed an index that measures a country’s ability to prosper in the emerging global low carbon economy, Australia rates the worst of any advanced economy and is the only country which has a current score lower than it had in 1995.

The index measures carbon competitiveness through the examination of nearly 20 indicators in three areas:

  • the current composition of the economy such as transport and trade emissions;
  • preparedness by investment in clean energy and reduction (or growth) of  emissions and
  • future prosperity through investment in areas such as education and infrastructure.

France, Japan, the United Kingdom, South Korea and Germany lead the index with countries such as Russia, Argentina, South Africa, the United States and Saudi Arabia ahead of Australia.

Ben Waters, Director Ecomagination at GE Australia and New Zealand commented that “While the report shows that Australia is lagging behind our major trading partners, there have been positive steps to change this trajectory. We believe a price on carbon is the most cost effective economic lever, but it’s up to businesses to maximise the opportunities and mitigate the risks to ensure competitiveness in a carbon constrained future.”