Minerals Council blamed for climate policy shambles

An article in the New York Times puts in perspective the political shambles that currently makes mockery of Australia's response to climate change and increasingly sullies its reputation on the international scene.

The article, entitled Australia Wilts from Climate Change. Why Can't Its Politicians Act? points out that Malcolm Turnbull could be the third prime minister in the past decade to be ousted over climate issues.

The root of the problem, the article suggests, is the mining industry and the Minerals Council which tends to “wildly outspend any group that challenges them politically”.

The article points out that the “coal industry lobbyists poured roughly $3.6 million ($5 million Australian) into campaigns last year as the energy debate intensified”, while the four main environmental groups - Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund, Environment Victoria and the Sunrise Project — spent just $135,000 combined ($183,000 Australian).

“Under Mr. Turnbull, a former investment banker and a moderate, the Australian government has increased its support for fossil fuel extraction projects, failed to meet goals set under the Paris climate agreement, and shied away from challenging the consumption status quo even as the Great Barrier Reef bleaches toward oblivion.”

The full article is available here

Image: Cattle at an empty dam in June in a drought-affected paddock near Gunnedah, in the northwest of New South Wales. David Gray/Reuters

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