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.
The list is headed by Clive Palmer, Scott Morrison and Rupert Murdoch; yesterday, we added Barnaby Joyce, Grant King and Richard Goyder. Today, we’ve unearthed even more:
As chair of Santos, fossil-fuel industry veteran Keith Spence leads Australia’s joint-worst climate culprit, a colossal greenhouse emitter dedicated to influencing politicians to deliver for his company through massive political donations and a network of former and current political staffers. When the history of how the world entered a climate catastrophe is written decades from now, it will be littered with corporate culprits like Spence and Woodside’s Richard Goyder.
While of limited political talent and prone to scandal, the climate denialist Liberal has been Morrison’s point man on his program of supporting fossil-fuel industries and delaying climate action. His latest initiative in his “No Coal Company Left Behind” program is his so-called CoalKeeper tax, which would inflate household energy bills by up to $400 a year to keep his party’s coal industry donors going. The states and territories have headed that one off for the moment, but expect Taylor to keep fighting for fossil fuels.
While Rinehart keeps a lower profile than other mining magnates, she’s a key backer of Joyce and has extensive interests in coal via Hancock Prospecting’s joint venture with India’s GVK to export coal from the Galilee Basin in Queensland. Rinehart is an active climate denialist who funds denialist outfits like the Institute of Public Affairs, and claims to know no scientists “who believe adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere will have any significant effect on climate change”.