There’s trouble brewing down under — scientists just named Australia the worst carbon offender per capita amongst major western nations. According to the Global Carbon Project, climate research shows that Australia is set to hit a record 36 billion tons of carbon emissions in 2013 – an unprecedented figure that is propelling the world towards dangerous climate change.

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Overall, Australia ranks as the 16th largest carbon emitter in the world, pumping out a 2.1 percent annual growth in emissions. Though its western counterparts such as the U.S. have seen a decreasing trend in its carbon emissions, Australia has stagnated and has failed to consistently decrease its emissions in recent years. Unless there is a rapid and dramatic decrease in emissions, it’s unlikely that the world will meet their two-degree climate change target.

Scientists have pointed to the expansion of the coal seam gas industry (CSG) as partly responsible for the high emissions. Using controversial fracking methods to extract the gas, the CSG industry also faces criticism for its damaging health and environmental effects. The new Australian government led by Prime Minister Tony Abbott has also been under heavy fire for their dismissive attitude towards the threat of global warming. The government, which chose not to send an environmental minister to the UN climate conference in Warsaw, also recently announced their controversial plans to repeal the country’s carbon tax.

Via The Guardian

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