New Australian PM abolishes climate watchdog
Australia’s new conservative government on Thursday abolished an independent climate change commission set up by the previous Labor administration, as part of its plans to streamline bureaucracy.
The Climate Commission was set up to provide apolitical and reliable information to the public about the science of climate change, emissions targets and international action being taken.
But Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s conservative coalition, which plans to repeal Labor’s tax on corporate pollution and is the first post-war Australian government not to have a science minister, said an independent body was not needed and the role wouldscourge be assumed by the Department of the Environment.
“As part of the coalition’s plans to streamline government processes and avoid duplication of services the commission’s function to provide independent advice and analysis on climate change will be continued by the Department of the Environment,” said new Environment Minister Greg Hunt.
He said it would save the budget Aus$1.6 million a year in running costs.
Climate Commission head Tim Flannery argued that there was a strong need for independent and accurate information on climate change as “propaganda” aimed at misinforming the public increases.