The former Climate Commissioners may have had their funding cut; but they intend continuing the battle to inform the public under a new community-funded body – The Climate Council.
The Climate Commission was established in 2011 to provide all Australians with an independent and reliable source of information about the science of climate change.
Another casualty of the Abbott government’s seeming war on renewable energy and the environment, the Climate Commission was abolished last Thursday. More than two years of important work was ended in a phone call made by the new Environment Minister, Greg Hunt to the Commission’s head; Professor Tim Flannery – who was also Australian of the Year in 2007.
But a phoenix has arisen from the ashes after an outpouring of support and offers of donations from the public to maintain the crucial work.
“People want us to keep going, they told me they need the information that we provide,” said Professor Flannery.
“Without an informed public, we’re unlikely to make the decisions that will safeguard our future against truly dangerous climate change. So we’re going to keep going.”
All the former Climate Commissioners are supporting the Climate Council initiative – Professor Flannery, Professor Will Steffen, Roger Beale, Gerry Hueston, Professor Lesley Hughes and Professor Veena Sahajwalla.
“Information is the currency of democracy, and Australians deserve to have independent information on the state of our climate,” states the Climate Council’s web site.
The body will be “fiercely independent and apolitical” and will continue to provide journalists and the public with authoritative reports; starting with the soon to be released international climate science update.
The Climate Council has already received seed funding and is seeking additional funding from the public. Donations can be made securely via this page.