Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Australian Prime Minister Ousted Over Climate Policy

Politics

Conservative lawmaker Scott Morrison has forced out Malcolm Turnbull as Australian prime minister, the third time the country's leader has sunk over climate policy in the past decade, and the seventh since 1997, according to Australia's ABC News.

An internal Liberal party row started when Turnbull proposed modest emissions targets for the country's energy sector. He dropped the plans Monday after pressure from the party's right-wing faction, but that led to a narrowly defeated leadership challenge from Peter Dutton on Tuesday, then a final ousting from Morrison on Friday.


The former prime minister said Friday at a press conference that climate change has become an ideological matter for the Liberal-National coalition government.

"I think the truth is that the coalition finds it very hard to get agreement on anything to do with emissions," Turnbull said, as quoted by Climate Change News.

Australia is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change, with relentless drought, deadly wildfires and devastating bleaching at the iconic Great Barrier Reef. At the same time, Australia is one of the world's largest coal exporters, accounting for 37 percent of global exports.

"Emissions issues and climate policy issues have the same problem within the coalition of bitterly entrenched views that are more ideological views than views based, as I say, on engineering and economics," Turnbull continued. "As for what the future holds in terms of energy policy, again you'll have to talk to Scott about that."

Morrison, Turnbull's former treasurer, pledged Friday to "heal our party." As the new prime minister, he has placed Australia's "economic and national security" and the nation's epic drought as major priorities, calling it "our most urgent and pressing need right now," the Guardian reported.

The new deputy Josh Frydenberg was the former environment and energy minster and developed the Turnbull government's climate policy.

However, Morrison once famously brought a lump of coal to the Australian parliament in 2017 and listed its benefits to the economy.

"This is coal, it was dug up by men and women who work and live in the electorates of those who sit opposite," Morrison roared. "There is no word for coal-phobia technically, Mr. Speaker, but it is that malady that affects those opposite [Labor], and it is that malady that is affecting the towns and jobs and, indeed, this country, because of their pathological, ideological opposition to coal being an important part of our sustainable and more certain energy future."

Australia's coal industry was pleased with the election results.

"Scott Morrison knows what makes regional Queensland tick, and he understands the importance of our most valuable industries—like resources," Queensland Resources Council CEO Ian Macfarlane said, published on the website World Coal. "In recent times, we've seen him make several visits to some of our resources heartlands in Central and North Queensland. And we know he's a fan of the coal industry, which he proved on the floor of Parliament."

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Penguins are seen near the Great Wall station in Antarctica, Feb. 9, days after the continent measured its hottest temperature on record at nearly 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Xinhua / Liu Shiping / Getty Images

By Richard Connor

Scientists have recorded Antarctica's first documented heat wave, warning that animal and plant life on the isolated continent could be drastically affected by climate change.

Read More Show Less
The Athos I tanker was carrying crude oil from Venezuela when a collision caused oil to begin gushing into the Delaware River. U.S. Department of the Interior

A case that has bounced around the lower courts for 13 years was finally settled yesterday when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision, finding oil giant Citgo liable for a clean up of a 2004 oil spill in the Delaware River, according to Reuters.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
The buildings of downtown Los Angeles are partially obscured in the late afternoon on Nov. 5, 2019, as seen from Pasadena, California, a day when air quality for Los Angeles was predicted to be "unhealthy for sensitive groups." Mario Tama / Getty Images

The evidence continues to build that breathing dirty air is bad for your brain.

Read More Show Less
Wave power in Portugal. The oceans' energy potential is immense. Luis Ascenso, via Wikimedia Commons

By Paul Brown

The amount of energy generated by tides and waves in the last decade has increased tenfold. Now governments around the world are planning to scale up these ventures to tap into the oceans' vast store of blue energy.

Read More Show Less
Yellowstone National Park closed to visitors on March 24, 2020 because of the Covid-19 virus threat. William Campbell-Corbis via Getty Images

When the novel coronavirus started to sweep across the country, the National Park Service started to waive entrance fees. The idea was that as we started to practice social distancing, Americans should have unfettered access to the outdoors. Then the parking lots and the visitor centers started to fill up, worrying park employees.

Read More Show Less