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Scott Morrison prepares for the fight of his life
As 2021 comes to end, most of us are winding down. But in Canberra, with the election on the horizon, the contest is just beginning. Today, Paul Bongiorno on what we’ll see as both leaders fight for their political future.
The independent insurgency threatening the Liberals
Traditionally the Liberal Party’s biggest threat at federal elections is the Labor Party, but this time they’re facing an insurgency in their heartland. Today, Mike Seccombe on what is motivating this wave of independents, and how they could end up shaping the future of Australian politics.
Scott Morrison’s secret climate weapon
According to the Prime Minister, the economic impact of the Coalition's plan to reach net zero won’t be that significant. But at the last election Scott Morrison had a very different position when he was opposing Labor’s emissions reduction policy. Today, Mike Seccombe on the documents that reveal who’s behind the federal government’s climate modelling and what it tells us about the way science is being spun for political purposes.
COP26: Have we missed our moment?
After two weeks, COP26, the international climate summit in Glasgow is wrapping up. The primary goal of the conference was to reach a consensus that would keep levels of global warming below 1.5 degrees needed to avoid catastrophic climate change. So has it worked? Today, climate scientist Joëlle Gergis, on what happened at COP26 and what it means for the fate of our planet.
A climate change election?
After an agreement was struck with his National party colleagues, Prime Minister Scott Morrison will bring with him a carry-on luggage sized climate policy to COP26 in Glasgow. With an election on the horizon, Labor has branded his agreement as “a steaming pile of nothingness”. Today, Paul Bongiorno on the problems with Scott Morrison’s climate plan.
The billionaire and the conspiracy theorist
Clive Palmer's party, the United Australia Party, is back with a new leader - Craig Kelly. Kelly, a former Liberal MP known for his controversial views, says that under his leadership the United Australia Party is stronger and bigger than ever. Today, Mike Seccombe on what impact the Palmer-Kelly alliance could have on the next federal election.
Barnaby Joyce is holding Australia hostage
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is under pressure, both from voters and Australia’s international allies, to publicly support a commitment to net zero emissions by 2050. But his coalition partners, the Nationals, are yet to support the policy. Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper Paul Bongiorno on the Coalition’s war over net zero, and how Barnaby Joyce’s National party is holding the country’s future to ransom.
Inside the Coalition’s climate war
The Prime Minister Scott Morrison has so far refused growing international pressure to commit to net zero emissions by 2050. Now he’s facing a concerted push from MPs in his own party to embrace the policy. But on the other side of the Coalition, right-wing Nationals are refusing to budge. Today, Mike Seccombe on how climate politics has wedged Scott Morrison.
Welcome to the heat dome
Over the past few weeks a slow-moving weather event has led to record high temperatures across North America.This kind of event is known as a heat dome, and it’s breaking existing models that try to predict the weather. Today, Max Opray on why this particular heat even is alarming climate scientists, and what it means for the next Australian summer.
Why Frydenberg lobbied to sack Australia’s biggest energy boss
Six years ago one Australian energy company tried to shift from coal to renewables. Now, new details have emerged showing the role played by the federal government in stopping that from happening. Today, Mike Seccombe on how ideology keeps trumping economics when it comes to Australia’s climate policies.
The scientist who predicted the death of the reef
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven natural wonders of the world, but now it’s on the cusp of being declared “in danger” by UNESCO. But scientists have been warning for decades that rising sea temperatures could kill off the Reef. Today, Mike Seccombe on the scientist who predicted the end of the reef, and why the Australian government doesn’t want to listen to him.
The judgement that changed climate law in Australia
In a recent landmark judgement, the federal court has found that the government owes children a duty of care in preventing harm from the impacts of climate change. The case, which centred around the proposed expansion of a NSW coal mine, could have far reaching legal implications in Australia. Today, Kieran Pender on the case that saw a group of teenagers take on the Minister for the Environment.
Australia backs coal as the G7 pledge climate action
As the leaders of the world’s wealthiest democracies gathered to discuss climate change, and pledged further action, the Australian government chose to reiterate its commitment to fossil fuels. Today, Rachel Withers on how the Coalition is increasingly out of step with both the international community and voters at home.
How Australia is blocking global climate action
World leaders are preparing to meet for a historic global climate change summit, to try and limit the catastrophic impacts of global warming. But Australia has already been singled out as a roadblock to taking serious climate action. Today, Mike Seccombe on the global shift towards tackling climate change, and how Australia could hold everything back.
Alan Finkel on the electric planet
As Australia’s former Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel has been on the front line of Australia’s climate wars. This year he was appointed special advisor to the federal government on low emissions technology, but some of Australia’s leading climate scientists have expressed concern about Dr Finkel’s plan. Today, Alan Finkel on his plan for our energy future, and whether the Australian government should be moving faster.
A Neanderthal on the crossbench
This week, Craig Kelly quit the Liberal Party to sit on the crossbench. It’s a huge risk for the Coalition - and any action on climate change.
The Coalition’s climate standoff
The Prime Minister is trying to calibrate his climate policy to better fit into a post-Trump world, but he faces a conservative revolt on his own backbench. On the other side, Australia faces trade sanctions if it doesn’t implement serious emissions reduction targets. Today, Paul Bongiorno on the Coalition’s climate standoff.
The world is embracing climate action. Why isn't Australia?
All over the world governments are abandoning fossil fuels like coal and gas, and embracing renewable energy, leaving Australia isolated and economically vulnerable. Today, Mike Seccombe on the new climate policies sweeping the globe and how Australia is already being left behind.
How Trump changed Australian politics forever
As Joe Biden takes the reins in the US, the legacy of Donald Trump continues to cast a shadow across the world. Today, Richard Cooke on how the ideas and policies that came to define Trump have found a welcome home in Australia.
The Liberal minister forcing action on climate
The Liberal party has historically been handbrake on serious climate action, but in NSW one minister is pushing through ambitious environmental policy. Today, Mike Seccombe talks to Matt Kean, the Liberal minister forcing action on climate change.
The climate threat to Australia’s leaders
Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese are caught between a global shift towards more serious climate action and pro-coal members of their respective parties. Today, Karen Middleton on how Australia’s political leaders are grappling with climate policy.
The teenagers taking on Adani
The controversial Adani coalmine in Queensland has already been approved by both state and federal governments, but a new legal challenge by two teenagers could be one last roll of the dice to stop it from going ahead.
Why we need to “feel” climate change
As climate models predict even worse outcomes for the planet, some scientists believe the way to change what is happening is for people to “feel” the emotion of it.
A fear at the end of the earth
After speaking to scores of ordinary people about climate change, James Button reflects on the anxieties and contradictions in our approach to the future.
Labor’s climate smokescreen
Labor has now got an emissions target, but no mechanism for getting there. The party’s current position is a far cry from the world-leading climate policies the party used to champion. Mike Seccombe on how Labor lost its nerve.
The minister for nuclear power
Meet Keith Pitt - climate sceptic, coal evangelist and the parliament’s most strident nuclear advocate. He’s also the new minister for Water and Resources.
Zali Steggall’s climate breaker
How a British model to end climate dysfunction is being introduced in parliament and could work here.
Barnaby Joyce’s failed coup
Barnaby Joyce lost his leadership tilt but has reopened a schism in the Coalition on climate policy.
A very Morrison Christmas
As fires continue on both sides of the continent, and the government succeeds in putting off commitments at the UN climate talks, Scott Morrison has gone on holidays.
What is Labor doing on coal?
Anthony Albanese says ending Australian coal exports won’t halt climate change. He says we need to cut emissions, but Adani should get on with it and start digging in the Galilee Basin.
Where there’s smoke, there’s climate change
As fires burn across the east coast and Sydney suffers catastrophic air pollution, the Coalition government is arguing to do less on climate change.
Angus Taylor’s hydrogen scandal
How the government – led by Angus Taylor and Matt Canavan – is ensuring Australia’s hydrogen industry is controlled by fossil fuels.
Peter Ridd’s European adventure
A speaking tour of Europe has revealed the strategy behind Peter Ridd’s rejection of reef science: he believes that if people doubt the reef is dying, they will doubt climate change more broadly.
Thoughts and prayers are not enough
Last week, a million hectares of eastern Australia was burnt in catastrophic bushfires. In the main, politicians refused to acknowledge the science that links these fires to climate change.
Swallowed by the sea (part one)
A decision to hand planning about sea-level rise to local council has opened up a war around science, property values and influence.
The luck and the chutzpah
As the Liberal Party slides further on climate change, the Labor Party fights an internal push to abandon its platform.
Carbon, beef and the underground economy
The latest IPCC report says current farming practices are unsustainable. But there are solutions, if farmers want to change.
Inside the Adani blockade
There is fresh momentum behind the Adani mine in central Queensland. What happens next could define Australia’s relationship to climate change both here and globally.
Grief, anger and climate change
Joelle Gergis is one of Australia’s leading climate scientists. She says there is resistance to talking about emotions around science, but she feels grief and anger.
Scott Morrison vs. the World
As he arrives for talks in Vietnam, Scott Morrison is struggling to match his attempts at diplomacy with his position on climate change.
Cooling in the Pacific
Climate change is now the defining issue for the Pacific. It is also one of the factors undermining Australia’s relationship with the region.
The extinction rebellion
Extinction Rebellion is not focusing on one project; it’s focusing on the system as a whole. And change can come from just a small segment of society participating in sustained non-compliance.