Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Climate change defines Christine Milne’s fine legacy in Parliament

Milne,-Christine-13Given our climate politics, who can blame Christine Milne for retiring?, Guardian 7 May 15 Tim Hollo
After 25 years of campaigning, Milne’s retirement from parliament is an indictment of how little progress Australia has made on climate change. 
egardless of the surprise of the press gallery, anyone paying attention realised Christine Milne would have been thinking deeply about her future. With her first grandchild on the way, the planet’s future would also have been brought into a stark new light.

Milne can be confident that she steered the Greens through a hugely difficult period, bringing a new strategic focus to campaigning and beautifully mentoring a new crop of advocates. But it is climate change which keeps her awake at night, and she has had to consider where she could most effectively focus her efforts in the critical years ahead.

 Climate change defines Milne’s legacy, and points to what she will do next. But it also holds the central message for our politics from her departure. While I have the utmost respect for Richard Di Natale and his team, no matter how well the Greens advocate or negotiate, they are a small team up against a Coalition government antagonistic towards climate action, a Labor opposition which still fails to understand the depth of the crisis we face, and a media which struggles to grapple with climate policy.

Who can blame her for concluding that Australian parliamentary politics is a poor place right now from which to work for radical climate change action?

Milne’s deep knowledge of (and passion for) climate science and policy is legendary in and around parliament. Less well known is her record on climate change over the last quarter century.

In 1990, while a member of the Tasmanian Parliament, she was appointed alongside Joan Kirner and Rupert Hamer to Australia’s first Greenhouse Council. She moved to the international arena in 1998 and was elected to the Global Council of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature in 2000. She was elected its vice president in 2004, the same year she was elected to the Senate.

From all of these positions, Milne worked to build awareness and acknowledgement of climate change. More deeply, she challenged us to grapple with its deep ramifications for our economies, our politics and our lives.

From all of these positions, Milne worked to build awareness and acknowledgement of climate change. More deeply, she challenged us to grapple with its deep ramifications for our economies, our politics and our lives……………..

Milne’s role in bringing depth to the climate change debate through that period was vital to the tremendous election result for the Greens in 2010. She capitalised on that by proposing the Multi Party Climate Change Committee as a condition of supporting the Gillard government, insisting on experts sitting on the committee, and shepherding through it the best possible result that could have been achieved. She also used the process to increase the understanding of climate change in the community.

While we have, of course, lost the carbon price, the Climate Change Authority and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation remain – and both are Milne’s hard-won achievements. More importantly, the idea that we cannot be serious about climate change without phasing out coal remains and is growing ever stronger. No future government will be able to get away with what Tony Abbott has done, and that is in no small part thanks to Milne’s efforts…….http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/may/07/given-our-climate-politics-who-can-blame-christine-milne-for-retiring

May 8, 2015 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | ,

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