Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

CSIRO a paid-up member of Minerals Council, which fights climate change action

Science agency stands in contrast to Australia’s biggest polluter, AGL, which parted ways with MCA over climate change, Guardian, Michael Slezak, 6 Sept 17, The Australian government’s science agency, the CSIRO, has paid tens of thousands of dollars to peak mining lobby group the Minerals Council of Australia, which fights against government action on climate change.

The CSIRO has been listed as an “associate member” of the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) since at least 2004 and new documents obtained by the Australian Institute, under freedom of information laws, show that in 2017 the “annual subscription” for membership was just under $10,000.

The mining lobby plays a vocal role in Australian climate change policy debates and the positions it takes are on the extreme end of the spectrum and include pushing for more coal power stations to be built.

The CSIRO continues to be a member of the MCA despite even Australia’s biggest climate polluter, AGL, publicly parting ways with the Minerals Council of Australia in 2016, saying it did so because of the positions the MCA took on climate change.

“AGL’s positions on climate change and renewable energy differed from those held by the Minerals Council of Australia … and AGL has elected not to renew its membership,” the company said in its 2016 sustainability report.

CSIRO declined to answer specific questions about how long it had been a member, what the cost had been and what the CSIRO got in return for membership. A CSIRO spokesman instead gave a statement, published in full below. [on original] …….

CSIRO has come under fire in recent years for a perception it has not been giving fearless advice to the public and to government on climate-related issues. At the same time, the organisation has cracked down on employees who themselves seek to speak publicly on policy issues……

ohn Church, a world-leading climate scientist who was made redundant in the organisation’s 2016 job cuts and who was one of the disgruntled employees in the leaked emails, told the Guardian CSIRO’s membership of the MCA was in contradiction to its refusal to engage in policy debates.

“I would definitely say there was a conflict,” Church said. “CSIRO is putting itself in a position where it is implicitly supporting particular policy positions by being a member of the Minerals Council.

“They should not only be independent but be seen to be independent.”

A senior climate scientist still at the CSIRO told the Guardian that currently it is almost impossible for climate scientists there to speak publicly about policy…….

Other public organisations with associate membership of MCA include ANSTO Minerals and the University of Western Australia……ANSTO Minerals, part of the government-owned Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation is also an associate member of the Minerals Council and a spokesman said ANSTO was a member of the Uranium Forum of the MCA and also sits on the radiation protection working group…..https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/sep/06/csiro-member-minerals-council-which-fights-climate-change-action

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September 6, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics

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