Dangerous Climate Change Rhetoric Becoming Normalised in Australian Discourse

Thursday, 13 November

Whilst it is positive to see climate change becoming a more visible issue of late it is alarming to see fossil fuel and nuclear lobbyists leading the rhetoric on how best to tackle it, according to WA Greens Spokesperson on Energy and Climate Change Robin Chapple MLC.

The Business Council of Australia and the Australia Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) have been vocal this week about the benefits, and necessity of, energy reform that includes primarily a greater reliance on gas.

Similarly, the World Nuclear Association has used the International Energy Agency’s world energy outlook report to preach the benefits of nuclear energy as a low-carbon, cost-effective means of producing electricity.

Mr Chapple said these big lobbying groups were jumping on the bandwagon to push for reform that benefitted their industry, but was not in any way a solution.

“These big lobbying groups, who exist purely for the benefit of their industries, have suddenly adopted climate change into their rhetoric,” he said.

“It’s frightening because what they are saying is very misleading, but attempts to be convincing.

Mr Chapple said repeated claims about gas as a clean energy alternative were polluting the information around climate change in Australian politics.

“I just fail to see the logic that these are ‘solutions’ to increasing emissions in Australia,” he said.

“These lobbyists have somehow managed to normalise the idea that replacing finite fossil fuel resources with different, but equally finite, fossil fuel resources is a sustainable and beneficial solution.

“The idea that renewable energy investment is not economically viable needs to be trashed; it is absolute rubbish.

“Why are we, as a nation, so determined not to be a world leader when we have so much potential to be so.”

Mr Chapple said he continued to be amazed by the general indifference, and even open resistance, towards renewable energy by both State and Federal Governments.

“I urge politicians to shake off this attitude of ‘ignorance is bliss’ and really make some noise so that those in power have no choice but to change,” he said.

‘Dialogue on the issue is completely under the spell of industry and lobbyists at the moment when the last thing we need in this country is more gas or worse, an uptake of nuclear power especially given the amazing potential we have for renewable energy generation in this country.”


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