COP27: World leaders shown horrifying extent of Australia's emissions

As Pacific nations face an uncertain future due to the impact of climate change, new analysis has revealed Australia is playing a significant role in their demise.

Global emissions tracker Climate TRACE shows Australia's emissions are triple those expelled by the rest of the region, including New Zealand.

Launched by climate campaigner Al Gore at COP27 on Wednesday (local time), the independent tracking tool captures data on over 72,000 facilities including power plants and oil refineries from across the globe.

Audiences pulled out phone cameras to capture key moment's of Wednesday's COP27 presentations. Source: Reuters
Audiences pulled out phone cameras to capture key moments of Wednesday's COP27 presentations. Source: Reuters

“Here's what we are delivering today: A complete inventory on the significant emissions sites in 241 countries and territories, 194 member nations; emissions from every major sector, and sub-sector,” he said.

The audience appeared enthralled by the day's presentations, pulling out camera phones and iPhones to capture the moment. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivered a powerful speech, saying the scrutiny provided by Mr Gore's tool would make it “more difficult to greenwash, or to be more clear, to cheat.”

Analysis of Climate TRACE’s data by non-profit Climate Council examined how Australia compared to other nations. It found emissions produced at the Eraring power station in NSW are generally greater than the combined emissions of Fiji, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Kiribati, French Polynesia, New Caledonia and Micronesia.

Australia singled out as climate 'laggard'

Climate Council research director said the Climate Trace tool shows “how much of a fossil fuel giant Australia really is”. “Time and time again, we’re seeing those that emit the least — like Pacific island countries — being hit the hardest by climate disasters,” he said.

Mr Gore launched Climate TRACE at COP27 on Wednesday. Source: Getty
Mr Gore launched Climate TRACE at COP27 on Wednesday. Source: Getty

“Australia must support those on the front lines of the climate crisis,” he continued. “This has been a major theme of COP27, and will continue to dominate global climate negotiations until real loss and damage commitments are made.”

Key statistics:

  • Australia produces almost double the emissions as Egypt

  • Egypt has close to four times the population of Australia

  • Australia emits almost twice the emissions as all of Scandinavia

Australia slammed as climate 'laggard' by UK group

Insights provided by the tool come as Australia faces significant global pressure to commit to a climate fund to help, developing nations respond to the impact of climate change.

This week, UK climate change publisher Carbon Brief found the US is falling short of its international commitments and should be paying US$40 billion ($60.23 billon) more annually in climate finance to developing countries.

It also singled out Australia, Canada, and the UK as “laggards”. The findings are in line with a warning made by Oxfam last month that Australia is “shortchanging poor nations”.

Australia is campaigning to host the COP31 in 2026.

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