Environment Minister dismisses need for more climate change action amid wildlife carnage

30 December 2019

with Mark Butler

The Environment Minister, Sussan Ley, is in denial about the need for more climate change action despite admitting up to 30% of koalas on the New South Wales mid-north coast may have been killed in bushfires.

Minister Ley is well aware of the link between climate change and the severity and prevalence of bushfires.

On Friday, Minister Ley said:

“Climate change is a huge issue and we are playing our part,” she said. “We are meeting and beating our targets, it’s very important that we do that.

“My focus is on the things we can do on the ground, with practical action here in Australia that do make a difference.”

The official government emissions data confirms Australia will not meet our Kyoto commitment to cut emissions by 5 per cent by next year. 

Minister Ley is wrong to say that Australia is meeting and beating its targets, when emissions reduction will amount to 0.3 per cent - little more than a rounding error.

The government’s own data suggests Australia’s emissions will come down during the next ten years by less than 5 per cent. At that rate, it will take Australia 230 years to reach net-zero emissions, rather than the 30 years that scientists tell us is necessary.

We are in the midst of a climate emergency. This year’s unprecedented bushfires are causing untold wildlife carnage. 

To do her job to protect Australian wildlife, the Environment Minister needs to be an advocate for greater action on climate change, not an apologist for the Morrison government’s lack of action.