The new documents come as Australia has reportedly been blocked from speaking at the United Nations climate summit in New York due to the Morrison Government’s ongoing support for coal and lack on new climate commitments.
New documents released under Freedom of Information have revealed the lengths the Morrison Government is going to spruik polluting coal across the world, despite worsening climate damage and increasing hits to Australia’s international reputation.
The documents suggest coal was a central topic of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s visit to Vietnam in August, with the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science urging the strong focus to “partially mitigate declining [coal] exports elsewhere, notably China”.
The documents, released to the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), also show Resources Minister Matt Canavan spruiked coal to officials from Bangladesh, where millions of rural and poor people are at extreme risk from climate damage, on a recent trip during in which he also flogged coal to India.
It comes as Australia has reportedly been blocked from speaking at the United Nations climate summit in New York due to the Morrison Government’s ongoing support for coal and lack on new climate commitments.
“Our government is trashing Australia’s international reputation because of its addiction to polluting coal,” ACF Climate Change Campaigner, Christian Slattery, said.
“As major importers of Australian coal transition to cleaner forms of energy, the Morrison Government is doing the industry’s bidding by trying to push more coal on other markets.
“Burning coal is the number one cause of climate damage. Unless we stop digging up and burning coal the planet will suffer unmanageable damage from more extreme fires, droughts, storms and coral bleaching that will harm hundreds of millions of people.
“Australia could become a clean industry superpower. A recent study from the Australian-German Energy Transition Hub detailed how we could become a net exporter of clean energy through green hydrogen, green steel and aluminium produced from green electricity.
“But the Morrison Government seems instead intent on selling a twentieth century technology to a twenty-first century world and doing a great deal more climate damage while they are at it.
“Australia’s reported blocking by the UN Secretary-General from speaking at the special climate summit in New York is nothing short of an embarrassment for a wealthy country like ours that prides itself on being a good international citizen.
“Australia is taking increasing hits to our international reputation for being a climate laggard. Only last month the Morrison Government suffered another stern rebuke from our friends in the Pacific for its continued intransigence on stopping climate pollution.”