You're not only ranked fifth last out of 58 countries in the latest climate change performance index -- you're also the "Fossil of the Day." As spotted by the Guardian, the joke award was handed out Wednesday by the Climate Action Network (CAN), which distributes the award to countries acting in the worst interests of the environment. Australia scored the prize after the country's Energy and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg was heard complaining to U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz about American charities working against Adani's $16 billion coal mine at the COP 22 talks in Marrakech. SEE ALSO: China, India would pick up America's clean energy slack under Trump "Our first Fossil of the Day award goes to...Australia for making ugly complaints about dirty baggage," the group wrote. "Australia ratified the Paris Agreement last Friday, so lobbying for coal expansion at the United Nations climate negotiations is an ugly, ugly thing to be doing."
The Australian government will investigate allegations Adani has drilled illegal groundwater bores at its Carmichael mine site. Environment group Coast and Country has said it obtained aerial footage showing dewatering bores that were sunk without approval. The Queensland government said it was investigating the works to determine the location and purpose of the bores. On Wednesday afternoon, the federal environment minister, Melissa Price, confirmed Canberra would also investigate the matter, following calls from conservation groups and Labor. "I can confirm the Department of Environment and Energy is working with the Queensland Environment Department to investigate allegations that Adani sunk groundwater dewatering bores before relevant plans were approved," she said.
The former Greens leader Bob Brown will launch a new alliance of 13 environmental groups opposed to Adani's Carmichael coalmine on Wednesday in Canberra. The Stop Adani Alliance will lobby against the coalmine in northern Queensland, citing new polling that shows three-quarters of Australians oppose subsidies for the mine when told the government plans to loan its owners $1bn. The alliance's declaration argues the mine will "fuel catastrophic climate change" because burning 2.3bn tonnes of coal from the mine over 60 years of operation would create 4.6bn tonnes of carbon dioxide. It states the project would "trash Indigenous rights", citing the fact Adani does not have the consent of the Wangan and Jagalingou people. The alliance's members include the Bob Brown Foundation, the Australian Conservation Foundation, 350.org,
Dissident government MPs, including the former prime minister Tony Abbott, are continuing to stir the pot on energy despite last week's party room sign off on the new national energy guarantee. The chairman of the backbench committee on environment and energy, Craig Kelly, used Tuesday's party room meeting to argue the government should cut off support to some renewable energy investments in 2020, rather than the current plan, which is to run down the scheme until 2030. Kelly was backed in his view by the former resources minister and now Queensland backbencher Matt Canavan and by Abbott who, according to accounts of the exchange, said the government needed to be prepared have a fight with political opponents about subsidies for renewables. The three MPs argued that people who entered the renewable energy scheme when John Howard set up the mandatory renewable energy target in the early 2000s only had an expectation the scheme would continue until 2020. The Rudd government later extended the scheme out to 2030.