Australian environment report paints grim picture: Key takeaways

Image Source: © Serrnovik |


  • The latest government report on environment has highlighted a grim situation of Australia’s ecological system.
  • The report highlights how the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events such as floods, droughts, storms, heatwaves, and wildfires are changing.
  • The ecosystem is in a poor state, calling for immediate actions to restore the balance.

Australia is known for its extreme weather patterns, warming oceans, frequent bushfires and floods, severe droughts and biodiversity loss. Also, the Land Down Under is no stranger to higher-intensity tropical cyclones, changing rainfall patterns, and extensive resource extraction.

So, how is the overall health of Australia’s environment?

Offering a detailed insight on that, the 2021 State of the Environment report has laid bare some agonising aspects about country’s environmental health. Released by Tanya Plibersek, the Australian Minister for the Environment and Water, the report paints a grim picture of the country ecological system.

How severe is the crisis?

Australia cannot afford to further neglect the worsening environmental conditions. It is high time that the government and concerned authorities swing into action to remedy the deteriorating situation.

Here’s the crux of the matter:

  • 2011-20 was recorded as Australia's warmest decade.
  • There were record-breaking bushfires and heatwaves during 2019-20.
  • The air temperature in Australia has seen a rise of 1.44°C since 1910.
  • Sea levels are expected to increase by over a metre in some areas by 2100.
  • There has been a 16% drop in seasonal rainfall between April and October since the late 1990s.
  • If the situation doesn’t improve, Australia will record longer drought occurrences.
  • For around 12 migratory coastal shorebird species, their count has taken a nosedive in the last few decades.

In terms of the national economy too, environmental damage can cause an irreparable dent to Australia. The report suggests that climate change and unplanned economic transition can disrupt one-third of employed Aussies and over 30% of national income. If the government fails to act, there will be a loss of AU$3.4 trillion in GDP and 880,000 jobs over the next five decades. (Data Source: Deloitte Access Economics)

Image Source: © Danicek |

What are govt plans to address the challenge?

In the 2021 State of the Environment address, Australian Minister Tanya Plibersek held the former government liable for letting the Australia’s ecosystem degrade for a decade. The minister has put the onus on the former government for undermining practical efforts towards environment protection.

She took the opportunity to set forth the current government’s commitment towards environment. She highlighted three essential targets for the government: protect, restore, and manage the country’s environment.

The current government aims to protect 30% of the Australian land and 30% of oceans by 2030. It is also exploring the option of developing more national parks and marine protected areas.



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