Leaders of Conservation Councils from eight Australian states and territories meeting in Melbourne today (28 January) have condemned the Prime Minister’s decision to slash climate change programs to pay for flood recovery costs.
Speaking on behalf of the groups, Queensland Conservation Council Executive Director Toby Hutcheon said, "Dangerous events like these floods are entirely consistent with predicted weather conditions under a changing climate. Cutting greenhouse gas reduction programs to fund the flood recovery defies common sense".
"Cutting these programs continues the stop-start pattern of the government’s commitment to climate change.
"Reducing fossil fuel subsidies would be a far more sustainable way to fund flood recovery at the same time as reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
"At the G20 the Australian Government committed to reducing fossil fuel subsidies, and estimates suggest that the government could source up to $5 billion per year this way.
"People who have suffered through the floods must be supported, but it is madness to take money from climate change programs and use it to continue to subsidise the coal industry, when that industry is a major contributor to climate change," Mr Hutcheon said.
Joint media release from the Conservation Councils.
The Conservation Councils are: Nature Conservation Council of NSW, Queensland Conservation Council, Environment Centre NT, West Australian Conservation Council, South Australian Conservation Council, Environment Tasmanian, Environment Victoria and Conservation Council of the ACT Region.