Monday, 23 September 2013

Australia abolishes Climate Change Minister

Australia abolishes Climate Change Minister

The recent win for new Prime Minister Tony Abbott in the Australian elections has angered green groups across the country.He had already promised to abolish the Carbon Tax,introduced in 2011,but has now announced that the role of Climate Change Minister will be abolished and that his new Cabinet will be the first since 1931 not to have a Science Minister also.The former position is to be amalgamated into the Environment portfolio.Green groups ,obviously see this as a watering down of its importance.

This duty will now fall to Greg Hunt,appointed as the new Minister for the Environment by Abbott who stated.
"Greg Hunt will have responsibility for the abolition of the carbon tax, implementation of the Coalition's Direct Action plan, the establishment of the Green Army, and the creation of a one-stop-shop for environmental approvals,".

Frank Jotzo, deputy director of Australia National University's Climate Change Institute, told  Reuters news agency   "The move shows that the Abbott government would not be giving climate change the same importance as the previous administration had..The environment ministry traditionally holds less sway within cabinet than other departments, and the integration of the climate policy bureaucracy into the Environment department will also tend to diminish its role," he said.

Mr Hunt will now be responsible for implementing both The Direct Action Plan and the introduction of the Green Army.These are Australia's strategy to ensuring the country can meet its stated goal of reducing it's greenhouse gas emissions to five per cent below their 2000 levels by the end of the decade,by establishing a new government fund to purchase emissions cuts from those companies that pledge to achieve them at the lowest cost.

Environmental campaigners,not only in Australia, remain to be convinced.

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