The bank report shows that between 1994 and 2004, Australia's annual emissions of carbon dioxide (the world's main greenhouse gas) increased by 107 million tonnes, or 38 per cent. Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull declared yesterday that Australia was "leading the world on climate change".
Australia's emissions grew by more than the combined increase in emissions by Britain, France and Germany, which have 10 times our population.
In Denmark, which has become the world leader in wind energy, carbon dioxide emissions fell by 9 million tonnes, or 13 per cent.
Australia's emissions are high largely because it relies on heavily polluting coal for electricity; specialises in energy-intensive industries such as aluminium; has a large car fleet with poor fuel efficiency; and lags behind Europe in energy efficiency standards for buildings and appliances.