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Butler and Price show major parties are addicted to coal and can’t tackle the climate emergency: Greens

Butler and Price show major parties are addicted to coal and can’t tackle the climate emergency: Greens

Greens Co-Deputy Leader and spokesperson on climate change and energy Adam Bandt MP today said that the response of Labor and Liberal to the IPCC’s Special Report on 1.5 degrees demonstrates that they are incapable of implementing policies that will bring about the ‘rapid and far reaching’ transition required to decarbonise the economy. Their reluctance to commit to clear policy action demonstrates that business as usual under Liberal and Labor is a death sentence for the planet.

This morning on Radio National, Labor’s shadow climate change minister, Mark Butler, refused to commit Labor to a coal phase out, instead discussing trends in the domestic and international thermal coal market. When interviewed on AM the Coalition’s Environment Minister, Melissa Price, admitted she had not read the whole IPCC report and stated she was “very comfortable we’re going to meet the 2030 [Paris] target”, despite running a defence for coal-fired power, having no policies to reduce emissions and with advice from her own department indicating we are set to miss our target by between 868-934 MtCO₂e.

“Labor and Liberal are ignoring the science. If we don’t end their addiction to coal, we’re stuffed,” said Mr Bandt.

“Instead of moving to a war-footing on climate change, their prescription is for more of the same.

“The political leadership of our country is paralysed.

“Melissa Price’s interview was a trainwreck because the Liberals don’t accept the science. It shows what happens when you install a former mining executive as Environment Minister.

“She hasn’t had her new job for very long, and she won’t hold onto it for much longer if she continues to ignore the science and mislead the Australian public.

“Labor tries to talk big on renewables but they won’t phase out coal exports, which cause more global warming pollution than the rest of the economy.

“The Greens are the only party with the policies capable of implementing the rapid and far reaching transitions required to limit global warming.

“Even after the scientists have given us our final warning, Labor and Liberal still refuse to quit coal.”

Greens environment spokesperson Sarah Hanson-Young said Australia needs an environment minister who puts the environment first.

“It is a disgrace that Melissa Price is spruiking coal when we know what lasting, irreversible damage it does to the environment. She must be the most anti-environment environment minister Australia has had,” Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.  

“Our Environment Minister can plant all the trees she likes, but it won’t offset the damage to the planet of digging up and burning more coal.

“If Melissa Price is our advocate for the environment in the Morrison Government, there is little hope protecting and sustaining our environment will ever be a priority.

“Rather than looking for excuses we need an Environment Minister and Government that takes the warning of the IPCC seriously and is committed to reducing carbon pollution.”


Gideon Reisner, 0429 109 054

Amy Moran, 0427 604 760

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