Climate activists protest as nation scores a zero
EXTINCTION Rebellion protesters have gathered under the Wheel of Brisbane at South Bank this evening in graduation caps and gowns to signify a generational shift.
Signs and flags filled the air as protesters sent the message that emerging professionals would not sit back and watch as the Australian Government continued to "ignore" the threat of climate change.
Extinction Rebellion spokeswoman Elise Papineau addressed the crowd with words aimed to hold the authorities accountable.
"Today and every day forward we need to break down the idea that knowledge is confined to institutions," she said.
"We need to hold ourselves and the systems that have led us into this climate crisis accountable".
The protest came as Australia scored zero out of 100 on policy in the latest international Climate Change Performance Index.
It dropped backwards to 56th place in the world rankings according to the index, compiled by German research bodies Germanwatch and New Climate Institute and the global Climate Action Network.
And Australia's performance was marked "low" in two of four categories - greenhouse emissions and renewable energy.
Its rating was even worse in the other two categories - energy use and climate policy - where it scored a "very low" ranking.
Australia also has come under attack for using an accounting trick to meet its international climate change targets.
Federal Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie, who oversees an industry responsible for nearly 15 per cent of Australia's carbon emissions, is quite comfortable using "carry-over credits" to meet climate targets.
"We are taking strong action," she said today.
"People might not like the way we're doing it, but that's not to say that we're not actually doing it."
Overnight, Australia's energy minister called on other countries to reduce their carbon emissions in his major address to a UN climate change conference.
Angus Taylor also urged action on shoring up the legitimacy of the global carbon trading market, which some say is undermined by corruption.