This website is entirely independent of the Climate Commission and the new Climate Council.
The Australian Climate Commission was established in February 2011 as an independent commission to advise the Australian public on climate science and the impacts of climate change in Australia, report on the progress of international action dealing with climate change, and explain the purpose and operation of a carbon price and how it may interact with the Australian economy and communities.
Over two and a half years the Commission diligently carried out it’s activities publishing scientific reports and holding public meetings around Australia on the impacts of climate change.
It was from the outset setup to be politically neutral in terms of party politics and science focussed. Under it’s Terms of Reference it was unable to offer official comment on policy matters nor provide policy advice or recommendations.
One of the first policy actions of the newly sworn in Tony Abbott Government in September 2013 was the announced closure of the Climate Commission.
The Climate Commission and it’s lead commissioner Professor Tim Flannery have been in Tony Abbott’s sights for some time. In April 2013 he foreshadowed the sacking of Tim Flannery and the axing of the Climate Commission which was established under executive authority in February 2011 as part of an election commitment by the Labor Government.
The new Environment Minister Greg Hunt rang Climate Commissioner Professor Tim Flannery yesterday to close the Climate Commission. Tim Flannery told the ABC:
“We’ve stayed out of the politics and stuck to the facts. As a result we’ve developed a reputation as a reliable apolitical source of facts on all aspects of climate change. I believe that Australians have a right to know – a right to authoritative, independent and accurate information on climate change. We’ve just seen one of the earliest ever starts to the bushfire season in Sydney following the hottest twelve months on record.” he said.
Respected Canadian environmental scientist and broadcaster David Suzuki was scathing in his criticism of Tony Abbott’s Government decision to close down the Climate Commission
“I accuse this newly elected Government of wilful blindness, a policy of wilful blindness. They not only don’t want the public to be informed on climate change, they themselves are not properly informed and that is willful blindness. In my country you can be thrown in to jail for wilfull blindness. And this is criminal negligence, another chargeable offence. There should be a category of intergenerational crime. I think what is going on in the industrialised world is criminal, because we are leaving a worsening situation for future generations who have no say in what we are doing at all.”
Read PhD student and sessional lecturer in Media studies Jenni Metcalf on Axing the Climate Commission splits Australians from science at The Conversation website.
Late on Monday night 23 September 2013 Tim Flannery announced that all the former Climate Commissioners would reform as a non-government organisation called the Climate Council. The need for climate science education was too important to be closed down by the current Government.
In under 3 days the new Climate Council had crowd funded $550,000, with 15,000 donors and 52,000 Facebook Friends.
A little bit of ironic timing: On the very day that the IPCC released it’s latest major report for policymakers on climate science – September 27, 2013 – the Climate Commission website was closed down. It can still be accessed in the National Library Pandora Archive, and the major reports in PDF format have been uploaded to this site.
Please support the work of the former Climate Commissioners with their new Climate Council funded by people power: