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Policy report

Back of the pack: an assessment of Australia’s energy transition

Renewable energy Carbon emissions Emissions reduction Energy consumption Energy industries Australia

The Australian Government claims that Australia is leading the world in achieving climate targets and transitioning to renewable energy.

New analysis finds Australia’s energy emissions continue to rise, while productivity and decarbonisation rankings fall.

Since 2005 Australia has maintained, if not slipped further behind, its OECD counterparts when it comes to the energy transition.

Key findings:

  • Despite prioritising productivity as one of the key policies to help Australia meet its Paris Agreement goal, energy productivity in Australia slipped back four places in the rankings.
  • Australia was one of only three countries in which emissions from energy use actually increased between 2005 and 2019.
  • Despite a growing population and good economic growth, in 2019 Australia ranked second last on energy emissions per capita and per GDP, behind the USA and Russia respectively.
  • By 2019 Australians were consuming more energy per person than 20 (of the 23) other countries. Australia is unique in being the only country of the top energy consuming nations to have exhibited an increase in energy use per person over the period 2005-2019.
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