Morrison government’s climate record seen as ‘a catastrophic failure’ | Press release
A new report from the Climate Council reveals that the federal liberal-national government has failed massively on climate action in its three terms.
the Lost years: counting the costs of climate inaction in Australia report assesses the federal government on climate with the introduction of a scorecard, conjecturing its overall performance as “a catastrophic failure”.
The report closely follows the 2022-23 federal budget, which contains successive cuts to climate funding over the next four years, with total spending on climate initiatives shrinking to just 0.2% of total spending.
New data from a national poll* of 1,299 Australians, conducted by SMS and commissioned by the Climate Council, shows that Australians – on average – rate the Morrison government’s performance on climate change and its response to the worsening of extreme weather events to 3 out of 10.
One in four respondents (26%) gave the Morrison government a rating of 0 for “doing nothing at all”.
Among 18-25 year olds, the average score was 1.5. No segment of the 1,299 people polled — by age, voting preference or place of residence — rated the government more than 4.8 out of 10.
Amanda McKenzie, CEO of the Climate Council said: “Right now Australians are suffering from the nightmare of an out of this world flood disaster. Despite this, the Liberal-National government has once again cut funding for effective climate initiatives. It’s mind-boggling.
“The record is clear, in eight years, the decisions of the federal government have exacerbated the climate crisis and they have tried to cover up their policy failures.
“The government has repeatedly embarrassed us on the world stage with empty rhetoric and no credible climate policy.
“Australians have lost almost a decade of what should have been our moment to take strong, bold action on the climate. We could be a nation that has embraced the unlimited economic potential of a rapid transition to renewable energy. , but instead we cling to coal, oil and gas.It’s no wonder Australians rate the Morrison government so poorly on this issue.
Climate Advisor Emeritus Professor Will Steffen, added: “The cuts to climate science under this federal government have been very damaging. Significant reductions were made in 2014 to Australia’s climate science capacity, crippling our ability to understand the risks and impacts of climate change in Australia, and diminishing our contribution to the global climate science effort.
“And on the other hand, Australia’s fossil fuel production has increased by 19% in the last three terms of this government. Because of this government’s inaction on the climate, we have even less time to act to avoid catastrophic warming. We must also face the consequences that are already accelerating, as we have just seen with the floods on the east coast, and prepare for even worse.
Professor Tim Flannery, Chief Climate Adviser, added: “One of the first acts of the government in 2013, then led by Tony Abbott, was to abolish the Climate Commission, which sent a pretty clear message that the government liberal-national had a contempt for climate science and expert advice.
“Since then, we have had a government that deliberately misled the public about climate solutions and hid its lack of climate action. And during the federal PNL’s tenure in government, we have seen successive cuts in climate funding and an escalation in extreme disasters. The failure of the Morrison government’s climate leadership is putting Australians, the economy and the ecosystems we depend on at risk.
The main conclusions of the lost years:
- The Climate Council has comprehensively assessed the federal government’s climate performance over the past eight years and finds that there has been a complete and catastrophic failure to act on the climate crisis.
- The lack of climate action at the national level is a defining leadership failure of the past eight years. Australians suffer the consequences daily and we must act quickly to avoid catastrophe.
- The federal government covered up poor performance with misleading claims, questionable accounting and censorship.
- The next Australian government must urgently adopt credible climate policies. This includes transparent and accurate reporting on Australia’s climate performance.
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* Nationally representative SMS survey (weighted) conducted among 1,299 Australians in all states and territories by Roy Morgan on 21-22 March 2022. Australians were asked: ‘Do you think the federal government is doing enough to respond to climate change and the worsening of extreme weather events? events? Rate their performance from 0 to 10 where 0 = doing nothing and 10 = doing as much as possible.
The Climate Council is Australia’s leading community-funded climate change communication organization. It was founded with community donations in 2013, immediately after the dismantling of the Climate Commission by the then Abbott government. We provide authoritative, expert and evidence-based advice on climate change to journalists, policymakers and the wider Australian community.
For more information visit: climatecouncil.org.au
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