7 October 2021: A push by the Federal Nationals to create a $250 billion fund for fossil fuel  companies is wildly irresponsible according to climate activist group 350 Australia.

According to media reports this morning, Resources Minister Keith Pitt is pushing to create a $250 billion loan facility for coal and mining corporations in exchange for supporting a net zero emissions target by 2050.

350 Australia CEO Lucy Manne says:  “If you asked every person in Australia to loan $10,000 to a multinational fossil fuel company they’d rightly tell you to get stuffed.

“Suggesting the government pour hundreds of billions of taxpayer money into a risky, dead-end industry is the last thing we need and a truly reckless idea.

“Banks and financial institutions have seen the writing on the wall for fossil fuels and are reducing their exposure to this sector. The community shouldn’t be expected to now prop up companies that are failing to move away from coal, oil and gas.

“The Nationals want the Australian Government to be holding all the risk for the fossil fuel sector which is incompatible with limiting warming to 1.5 degrees.”

The flagship Clean Energy Finance Corporation is a $10 billion fund, 25 times smaller than what Minister Pitt is proposing for the mining sector.

“If the Nationals actually wanted the government to be helping with the transition then that $250 billion would be far better spent on supporting local green manufacturing, community transition initiatives and backing renewable energy projects to create jobs of the future. It’s clear that this is just more bailouts for big fossil fuel companies.

“The science is clear, we need to rapidly cut emissions this decade. The Morrison Government is proposing tinkering around the edges of what needs to happen while the Nationals have gone off the deep end.”