News & Views item - October 2013
Nature's Report on Australia's Governmental Change. (October 2, 2013)
NatureNews has now registered its awareness of Australia's change in government.
Tony Abbott was quick to renew his pre-election pledge to axe the country’s carbon-pricing scheme, and the Coalition administration has begun to kill off some of the main government agencies tasked with tackling climate change.
David Karoly, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Melbourne, says that it is unclear whether funding for climate-change studies, including those conducted by the Bureau of Meteorology and Australia’s national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), will be held at current levels.
The government has already closed the country’s Climate Commission, a public-education body... And the government wants to close the Climate Change Authority, which provides advice on emissions reductions, says Karoly, a member of the authority’s board.
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation, or ‘green bank’, a Aus$10-billion (US$9.4-billion), 5-year programme... is also under threat.
[T]he government’s stance on carbon policy and the science-policy vacuum since it came to power have fuelled fears about support for climate-science research.
[T]he scientific community was taken by surprise by Abbott’s decision that his “back-to-basics” government would lack a designated minister of science.
Christopher Pyne, the education minister, says there will be no cuts to university research, but “some funding will be reprioritised for medical research”. He did not respond to a question about the fate of climate-change research.