Australia beats US in energy efficiency rankings17th Jul 2012
Although we often like to think of the developed world as being one big happy family, the reality is that there is always an underlying sense of competition.
This time it seems that energy efficiency is providing a new battlefield, as the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) releases its first ever international scorecard.
So here's the deal - countries are ranked in terms of how energy efficient they are, which has been determined using all sorts of measures, including national incentives to cut energy use.
The three main sectors responsible for energy consumption were also assessed, namely industry, buildings and transportation.
Let's get down to the nitty gritty and the part we're all dying to know … where did Australia rank?
Well it wasn't all bad news: Australia took a vaguely impressive sixth place, ranking behind the UK, Germany, Japan, Italy and France.
Although sixth place may sound good, the downside is that we shared the ranking with the European Union and China.
Without meaning to take the shine off Australia's achievement, there is obviously still some room for improvement when it comes to enhancing energy efficiency.
But now it's time for the good news - Australia managed to come out above the US, Brazil, Canada and Russia, meaning our efforts have not completely been in vain.
ACEEE executive director Steven Nadel said: "While many countries achieved notable success, none received a perfect score in any category - proving that there is much that all countries can still learn from each other."
He pointed out that while the US scored relatively highly for the energy efficiency of its buildings, the same could not be said for transportation, where the country was bottom of the list.
With measures such as the carbon tax and Renewable Energy Target being implemented in Australia, there is real potential for us to climb further up future rankings.
Posted by Mike Peacock