As chunks of our country burn today, we thought it might be a good time to remind everyone of the time that Scott Morrison brought a lump of coal to parliament for the lols.
And we’re still feeling the effects of his blasé attitude today
Bushfires are raging through southeastern Australia and have possibly killed hundreds of koalas at one nature reserve. This comes as firefighters finally contain California’s Kincade Fire in Wine Country and as Friday marks the first anniversary of the deadly Camp Fire in California. Climate change is affecting all parts of the globe, and it appears to be the culprit for Australia’s early fire season this year.Read more
The then-treasurer pulled this stunt back in February 2017 as a smart-arse response to a state-wide blackout in South Australia and some politician’s push towards more renewable energy sources.
“South Australia has just had a blackout and, if Bill Shorten becomes the prime minister, all the lights will go off around the country,” said Morrison.
He proceeded to pass the coal around during question time with statements such as “This is coal” and “Don’t be afraid.”
By this stage Australia had already signed onto the Paris Agreement and claimed that as a country we would reduce emissions to 26-28 per cent by 2030.
And yet there was the treasurer undermining important topics like renewable energy and climate change with a childish stunt and a shit-eating grin.
In the two years since the baffling incident, Morrison has become PM and continued to not take any of this particularly seriously.
Just last month he skipped last the United Nation’s Climate Change Summit in New York despite being in the U.S. at the time.
Instead, Morrison sent Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Australian ambassador for the environment Patrick Suckling – a bloke who was on a pro-coal panel last year.
As the Guardian reported, Morrison didn’t speak because the UN was only going to hear from leaders whose countries have “affirmed new emission reduction goals or funding for the UN’s own climate action fund.”
Australia isn’t doing either, choosing to stick to the previously announced targets and donating $500 million to Pacific nations facing climate change catastrophe instead.
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It is perhaps apt that in the same week as catastrophic fires ravage the country, a report has found that Australia’s climate change response is one of the worst in the G20.
According to the Guardian this is due to our lack of policy, rising emissions and reliance on fossil fuels such as coal.
The report also refers to Australia’s 2030 NDC target as insufficient.
It also reveals that Australia’s energy sector is the second most carbon intensive in the G20 and that the country’s energy supply per capita is more than twice the G20 average.
These are just a handful of things worth remembering during this terrible week.
As our country is burning, rain is barely falling and with another summer of record heat on its way, all our Prime Minister is offering is thoughts and prayers while continuing to cling to that lump of coal.