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Friday Eco-fact: Australia Scores Poorly on Global Environment Report

It will be interesting if this reports gets as much air play on Australian news as the non-environmental whaling issue does:

AUSTRALIA has been given a lowly global ranking for environmental performance, mainly because of its assessment as a climate change laggard.

The nation is ranked 49th out of 149 countries on the 2008 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) with a score of 79.8 per cent, behind countries like the US and Brazil.

While major polluters China and India fared worse overall, they outperformed Australia on climate change.

The assessment was made before the Federal Government ratified the Kyoto Protocol last month.

The rating sees Australia drop 29 places from its number 20 position in the 2006 inaugural index, which is produced by a team of environmental experts from the US universities Yale and Columbia.

The researchers gave the nation a 99.3 per cent score on environmental health, but it was dragged down by a 60.4 per cent mark for ecosystem vitality. [AAP]