To Fire climate expert in Australia: the coal lobby has government in the handle

In Australia the fury of the Bush fire, but the Premier denies the climate crisis. Due to the influence of the coal companies, says climate expert Brynn O'brie

To Fire climate expert in Australia: the coal lobby has government in the handle

In Australia the fury of the Bush fire, but the Premier denies the climate crisis. Due to the influence of the coal companies, says climate expert Brynn O'brien.

Anti-coal-Grafitto in Melbourne photo: afp

taz: How is your Situation in Sydney today, the smell of Bush fire?

Brynn O'brien: Yes, Sydney is quite smoky beautiful, the view restricted, it looks a lot like Smoke.

climate change is increasing the fire, according to the opinion of many experts, in all likelihood, your head of government, Scott Morrison holds the human earth made rhitzung for a dizziness. The Public is not slow to be angry at him?

Australia is destroyed because of the fire on the ground, beyond politics and parties. The Public is due to the bad crisis management, angry at the Prime Minister. The responsibility for the fire, it will be hard. Emissions and climate change are a global issue.

is Director of the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility. The organization buys into companies to move to more climate protection.

Australia has the world on a per capita one of the highest CO2 emissions, overall, the share of global emissions is only 1.3 percent. But we are the world's largest exporter of coal and second-largest liquefied natural gas – and thus one of the main drivers of climate change. Many Australians know that the policy covers the decades. You and the companies that will benefit are the real Criminals.

Some of the Bush fire call the "Chernobyl of the coal industry". Could it be that we are at a turning point of Australia's climate policy?

Maybe. But we have not yet reached a political Momentum to win an election against the carbon. Even if it is in the municipalities, more and more Protest. Both major political parties support the expansion of the coal industry. Now, in this Moment, while it burns.

Why is the coal industry so influential? The to the policy on donations?

Many donations to politicians, but the influence is based on relationships that are cultivated since decades, on a personal level. Scott Morrison is surrounded by coal lobbyists. For example, his chief of staff John Kunkel was formerly Deputy chief of the Minerals Council of Australia, the most important mining lobby organization in the country. Morrison dragged 2017, a piece of coal into Parliament and all of said coal, no one should have to fear. The piece of coal was given to him by the Minerals Council pressed in the Hand. The coal industry and lobby the government absolutely in the handle.

What role do the media play?

of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp-controlled media in Australia are very dominant. In them there is a long Tradition in climate change to deny and to spread out the wrong information about it. People will see this and believe it. Of course, there are also other media. The public broadcasters ABC station reports, but will be attacked massively by the Murdoch media.

And the government has cancelled the Budget in recent years. They have even been explicitly threatened by Government officials because they tell too much about climate change. I've been a couple of months ago by an ABC journalist interviewed, and have tried, through the lobbying of the fossil fuel industry to educate. The associations have complained then comprehensively at the ABC over the Interview.

In the US, the Situation is similar, but there is a powerful part of the industry, especially the Silicon Valley, which is working clearly for a rigid climate protection.

Our economy is structured differently, we are more of the fossil fuel industries dependent on the financial industry depends on it, too. The investment sector is large here. He doesn't care, although publicly about climate change, but. You pull back from the coal industry. Other big companies are ambitious in the field of renewable energies, because they are always cheaper. But there is no climate lobby power comparable to that of the coal industry.

The labor party has introduced in 2012 a CO2 price, the the Liberal Party after their electoral victory has conceded. Would change with a change of government something?

laboratory is currently in the process of formulating its positions for the next elections. Actually, you want a 45 percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030. But it seems, as on the soft the. It could be that the Bush fire bring you to your senses. During the last election, they had no Plan for how they want to get out of the coal and the Gas out. Instead, they promised the gas industry $ 1.5 billion in aid to frack a well in Northern Australia Oil and Gas. This has nothing to do with climate policy. The have lost the last elections also, because the coal industry is massively against you has put.

what is a way to more climate protection?

As the First company, the benefit of the fossil fuel industry should stop to support their positions. The mining group BHP about is partly owned by pension funds. A part of the shareholders in November, to urge the company to end the lobbying for the coal industry. But there was still no majority in favour of it. We need also a Change in the ownership structure of the media. But in the end, the citizens must take the matter in Hand.

Updated Date: 08 January 2020, 19:00

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