Government stacked climate authority calls for coal phase out but fails to set out post-Paris pathway

Greens climate and energy spokesperson, Adam Bandt, said the government must listen to its own Climate Change Authority’s call to phase out coal-fired power, while expressing concern that the government has compromised the Authority’s ability to provide frank and fearless advice.

Tony Abbott tried to abolish the Climate Change Authority and then stacked its board with Coalition appointments, Mr Bandt said, but despite these restraints the Authority is calling on the government to do much more on climate change and energy policy.

However, the report’s failure to recommend what is needed to fulfil the ‘Paris agreement’ to keep global warming well-below 1.5 degrees raises serious questions as to whether the independence of the Authority has been undermined.

“The government appointed Climate Change Authority is calling for a plan to phase out coal power and the Minister should listen,’ Mr Bandt said today.

“However, the same day the Paris Climate Agreement has been tabled in Parliament, the Climate Change Authority has failed to recommend a level of ambition and action needed to fulfil Australia’s promise in the ‘Paris agreement’ to work towards keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees.”

“The final report of the Special Review backs the Renewable Energy Target and outlines a range of potentially useful policies, but they fail to add up to what the Authority last year said is needed.”

“Since original chair respected former RBA Governor Bernie Fraser resigned and the Abbott appointees took their position, we’ve seen less of the ‘frank and fearless’ advice expected of an independent institution.”

“The report highlights again the folly of Labor and the Coalition’s plan to cut $1 billion from ARENA.”

The 2016 Budget failed to fund the Climate Change Authority beyond this financial year.

Media contact: Adam Pulford, 0429 109 054