March 4, 2020

Cocktails and coal event at Parliament shows the fossil fuel lobby’s grip on our politics

Media comment

4 March 2020

Commenting on the inaugural ‘Carbon Capture and Storage Policy Forum’ cocktail event hosted by pro-coal MPs at Parliament House on Wednesday, Lucy Manne, CEO of 350 Australia said:

“This night of cocktails to promote coal is the latest insidious effort by the fossil fuel lobby to undermine action on the climate crisis, and illustrates why we must crack down on the undue influence of lobby groups on our democracy.

“The climate crisis has been felt across the country this past summer, with communities suffering due to extreme bushfires, drought, floods and heatwaves. It’s outrageous that instead of working out how to rapidly transition to the renewable energy future the vast majority of Australians and businesses want, our elected representatives will tonight be sipping cocktails with the coal lobby and discussing how to extend the life of dirty coal-burning power stations.

“This Government has already wasted more than a billion dollars on failed carbon capture and storage projects. Carbon capture and storage is nothing more than a pipe dream of the coal and gas lobby designed to divert money away from affordable, reliable and proven renewable energy technology.

“We are calling on the Government to rule out any subsidies to Carbon Capture and Storage, and instead develop a plan to invest in renewable energy and a just transition away from coal, oil and gas. ”

The official invitation to the cocktail event, obtained by Australia, invites participants to join Co-Chairs of the Parliamentary Friends of Resources, Hon Joel Fitzgibbon and Mr Craig Kelly, together with Santos Managing Director and CEO Kevin Gallagher, Chairman of the CO2CRC the Hon Martin Ferguson AM and CEO of the CO2CRC David Byers.

According to the invitation, the event on March 4th at Parliament House “will mark the inaugural meeting of the CO2CRC Carbon Capture and Storage Policy Forum,” of which Kevin Gallagher is the Chair, and BP Australia Managing Director Emil Ismayilov is a member. Other members of the Forum are said to include senior representatives of BHP, Chevron, Coal21, ENI, Exxon, the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute, JPower, Shell and Woodside. Australia launched a new campaign in February which calls on companies and politicians to cut all ties to the Minerals Council of Australia and other coal and gas lobby groups.


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