Australia Cuts Green Fund As Country Champions Anti-Global Warming Measures

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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Australia plans to end its green energy fund at the end of the year despite the country’s prime minister championing anti-global warming measures.

The Australian government has no intention of shoveling any more money into its already bloated $1.8 billion Emissions Reduction Fund. This, however, may not be the end of the emissions fund as some permutation of the program, which currently offers incentives for companies to lower carbon output, could be resurrected under a different budget, according to the Australia’s Finance Minister Mathias Cormann.

Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull backed calls to lower global warming temperatures by 1.5 degrees Celsius during last year’s climate summit in Paris. Turnbull ousted his global warming skeptic predecessor Tony Abbott in 2015 after a close election.

Environmentalists claim 1.5 degrees Celsius is the threshold that most countries can weather global warming, and was a goal accepted by 195 countries.

“Australia’s growing emissions could become either an Achilles heel for the government, or a catalyst for action,” Hugh Grossman, director of the research firm, told reporters Monday.

“Even the Liberal Government must realize what a joke their policy is, since they haven’t budgeted long-term funding, leaving Australia without any global warming policy at all,” the country’s Green senator, Larissa Waters, told reporters.

Australia is not the only country to send mixed messages to throngs of anti-fossil fuel activists. Norway, for example, voiced support for last year’s Paris climate summit agreement, yet is now planning on increasing its oil production output.

“We know that if we burn all the coal, oil and gas available, the Paris agreement cannot be fulfilled. Significant parts of the total fossil resources must remain, untouched,” Karl Eirik Schjøtt-Pedersen, director of the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association and a former minister of finance, told reporters Friday.

Schjøtt-Pedersen went on to say that exploiting Norwegian oil is better for the environment because Norway’s crude production is better and more efficient than resources used by other countries.

Anti-fossil fuel activists decried that decision as well.

“They say our oil is cleaner and that the EU needs us. Meanwhile it is lobbying in Europe against stronger energy efficiency laws. There seem to be no limits on the Norwegian oil industry. They want to keep on expanding,” Silje Lundberg, an activist with Friends of the Earth Norway, told The Guardian last week.

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