Crikey’s list of criteria for determining Australia’s worst climate culprits encompasses their role in setting climate policy, the level of emissions they’re responsible for, how much political influence their companies wield to undermine climate action and how they can influence public debate and political reactions.
Yesterday we unveiled Clive Palmer, Scott Morrison and Rupert Murdoch as Australia’s worst climate culprits. Today, the next round:
Joyce’s noxious influence over climate policy illustrates how Australia’s “democracy” is a shambles. Representatives of two parties (the Nationals and the Liberal National Party) who collectively receive the support of less than 15% of Australians have been able to block climate action for a decade, despite strong support in the community for a greater government response. Joyce, whose party enjoys significant donations from fossil-fuel companies, was able to overcome unresolved sexual harassment allegations to return to the deputy prime ministership on a platform of not merely not doing more on climate, but actually increasing government support for coal-fired power.
The former head of Origin Energy and chair of key climate denialist lobby the Business Council, King has illustrated how fossil-fuel interests can dictate the policy process on climate and energy. Commissioned to review the government’s risible “emissions reduction fund”, King immediately told the government to allow the fossil-fuel scam carbon capture and storage (CCS) to be funded by taxpayers. That delivered, he was rewarded with the chair of the Climate Change Authority.
The prominent West Australian businessman leads the C-suite climate culprits. As chair of Woodside, Goyder is not merely responsible for one of Australia’s biggest carbon emitters, but for its systemic perversion of public policy processes at the federal and state level to support its interests via massive political donations and the serial employment of politically influential figures (just ask Ben Wyatt, the WA Labor figure snapped up by Goyder to join him on the board this year). This is the company, after all, that Australia spies on its neighbours for.
Note: this article has been amended, after initially describing Grant King as the former head of Santos, rather than Origin Energy.
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