If I were to ask you to name a country that starts with an A, chances are your instincts would be to say Australia! Australia is our next stop on our eco-friendly journey around the world.
The famous Down Under has very scary yet extremely rare species, only native to Australia, that climate change is threatening. The Great Barrier Reef, a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the biggest coral reefs in the world, is in great danger of decaying. Australia has a rising sea level and a well-known hole in the ozone layer. Droughts and massive floods, which are becoming greater year after year, are also threatening different parts of the country.
Pictured: Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, in central Australia’s Northern Territory
Australia was the first country to introduce a Greenhouse Office in order to attempt to solve their environmental threats. Like the name suggests, the program was established so that overall greenhouse gasses in Australia are reduced. The Greenhouse Office aims to reach the goals of the Kyoto-Protocol, as mentioned in our Austria segment. In 2003 they introduced a Greenhouse Challenge, where 700 companies participated in the challenge to reduce emissions.
Melbourne has reintroduced their project, Target 155, to help control drought. Target 155 is a voluntary water efficiency program that promotes individuals to use only 155 liters (around 41 gallons) of water per day. This program sends out water saver kits that include a three-minute timer for shower use and information on water saving. Private households are not only subject to this program; schools and large corporations can partake in water sustainability programs as well. For example, Brigid’s Parish Primary School in Mordialloc reduced more than 825 liters of water per hour by installing a monitoring system that alerted staff about leaks and damaged appliances.
Pictured: Drought-affected Lake Hume, New South Wales, Australia
Even though there are these measures towards a better environment, Australia’s efforts are sometimes being criticized. These critiques are due to the decreasing investments in environmental projects. At fault for the decrease is partly the change in governmental positions. The new environment minister does not seem to care much about keeping the environment but rather using it, such as encouraging mining.