CSIRO quietly funding climate denier super-lobbyists, the Minerals Council of Australia

Press release - 5 September, 2017
CSIRO quietly funding climate denier super-lobbyists, the Minerals Council of Australia

September 6, 2017: The credibility of Australia’s peak science body, CSIRO, has been rocked today by revelations that it has been a long-term financial supporter of mining super-lobbyists the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA).

The government’s peak scientific body has been a paid up member of a coalition of the nation’s biggest polluters since 2004, paying $10,000 for an “annual subscription” in 2017, documents obtained by The Australia Institute under FOI laws reveal.

“If AGL, Australia's biggest single carbon polluter, felt it had to quit the MCA in 2016 over its position on climate change, then it's incredible that the CSIRO is still involved,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Climate and Energy Campaigner Nikola Casule said.

“Their support of the MCA goes against both the overwhelming scientific opinion on coal and climate, and the CSIRO's own statements about remaining separate from political and policy debates.”

The MCA has been a highly influential lobby group for the mining and energy industry for years, promoting coal mining and coal fired power, and lobbying against action on climate change. The MCA has in the past boasted to its members that it played a key role in abolishing the carbon and mining taxes in 2014.

Over the same period the CSIRO has been accused of failing to provide the government with free and independent advice on climate-related issues. In 2016 newly appointed CSIRO CEO, Larry Marshall, attempted to cut hundreds of positions in climate science at the organisation [1].

Emails leaked earlier this year revealed divisions within the CSIRO over its failure to make a submission to the government’s consultation on greenhouse gas emissions targets in 2009. [2]

“Greenpeace is all in favour of a robust, science-driven CSIRO. Australia certainly needs its independent scientists now more than ever - but we won’t hesitate to call out apparent industry capture when we see it,” said Casule.

Greenpeace is calling on CSIRO management to immediately cut all ties with the MCA.


[1] https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/feb/04/csiro-confirms-300-job-cuts-with-climate-research-bearing-the-brunt

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/sep/06/csiro-member-minerals-council-which-fights-climate-change-action

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