While others face climate reality, our government denies the undeniable

Thursday 1 August 2019
Miners hold the last lump of coal during a closing ceremony of the last German coal mine Prosper-Haniel in Bottrop on December 21, 2018. CREDIT:AP

I despair at just how long our Australian government can continue to deny the undeniable. It seems the new Morrison government has learned nothing, doesn’t want to learn anything, just wants to kick the climate emergency further down the road, hoping nothing of consequence happens on its watch.

It is fundamental to us meeting our global obligations as the largest exporter of fossil fuels in the world, with poor and worsening biodiversity, and in the clear interests of our future generations, that we make the transition to a low-carbon society by the middle of this century.

It should have been particularly instructive that Britain, a nation that led the industrial revolution fuelling its economy with coal, and has weathered the Thatcher era tensions with the coal mining industry, has recently announced its plan for a complete exit from coal and declared that there is, indeed, a “climate emergency”. Similarly, the Germans have announced a commitment to stop using coal by the mid-2030s, and even the likes of China and India are moving much faster than expected to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels.

At the very least, our government should have heard and responded to the din of cries for action: from the 60 to 80 per cent of respondents to various surveys; from big business, including conspicuously large fossil fuel miners such as BHP, Rio, Glencore, and Woodside; and from the Reserve Bank of Australia, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Read the full Sydney Morning Herald article, written by Hon Prof John Hewson here.

Updated:  30 May 2020/Responsible Officer:  Director, Energy Change Institute/Page Contact:  Webmaster