The principal aim of the OECD Environmental Performance Review programme is to help member and selected partner countries improve their individual and collective performance in environmental management by:

helping individual governments assess progress in achieving their environmental goals

promoting continuous policy dialogue and peer learning

stimulating greater accountability from governments towards each other and public opinion.

This report reviews the environmental performance of Australia since the previous review in 2007. Progress in achieving domestic objectives and international commitments provides the basis for assessing the country’s environmental performance. Such objectives and commitments may be broad aims, qualitative goals or quantitative targets. A distinction is made between intentions, actions and results. Assessment of environmental performance is also placed within the context of Australia’s historical environmental record, present state of the environment, physical endowment in natural resources, economic conditions and demographic trends.

The OECD is indebted to the government of Australia for its co-operation in providing information, for the organisation of the review mission to Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney (20-28 March 2018), and for facilitating contacts both inside and outside government institutions.

Thanks are also due to the representatives of the two examining countries, Shannon Elaine Castellarin (Canada) and Jenna Bishop (New Zealand).

The authors of this report were, Nathalie Delrue, Alexa Piccolo, Mikaela Rambali and Frédérique Zegel from the OECD Secretariat and Rachel Samson of Carist Consulting. Nathalie Girouard and Frédérique Zegel provided oversight and guidance. Sarah Sentier and Carla Bertuzzi provided statistical support, Annette Hardcastle provided administrative support and Rebecca Brite copy-edited the report. Natasha Cline-Thomas provided communications support. Preparation of this report also benefited from inputs and comments from several members of the OECD Secretariat, including Anthony Cox, Gwendolen Deboe, Bob Diderich, Luisa Dressler, Guillaume Gruère, Philip Hemmings, Xavier Leflaive, Eeva Leinala, Rahul Malhotra, Sylvie Poret, Richard Sigman and Will Symes, as well as Sylvia Beyer of the International Energy Agency.

The OECD Working Party on Environmental Performance discussed the draft Environmental Performance Review of Australia at its meeting on 6 November 2018 in Paris (the meeting included a joint session with the OECD Chemicals Committee to discuss the chapter on chemical management), and approved the Assessment and Recommendations.

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