Some of Australia’s biggest humanitarian and environmental organisations have called on diplomats and leaders around the world to reject Mathias Cormann’s bid for Secretary-General of the OECD in a joint letter released today.

The letter, signed by the heads of major Australian and international charities is addressed to the head of the search committee and ambassadors of OECD member countries, urging them to reject Cormann as one of the final two candidates for the top OECD role, citing his personal and political track record of blocking action on climate change. 

“Mathias Cormann has been a leading figure in a government that has repeatedly blocked climate action and promoted the increased use of fossil fuels, the leading driver of climate change,” said David Ritter, CEO of Greenpeace Australia Pacific.

“Like any job applicant, Mr Cormann deserves to be judged on his record. He has proven time and time again that he puts the profits of the coal and gas industry above people and planet, and his recent attempts to airbrush his record clean can’t change the fact that he has been active in blocking climate change action in Australia.”

Oxfam Australia CEO Lyn Morgain said, “Our global community currently faces the twin challenges of recovering from the coronavirus pandemic and tackling accelerating climate change. As communities experience the impacts of climate change, including here in Australia and across the Pacific, there is no time to waste.” 

“The leaders of our international institutions must act in concert with nations to avoid a climate catastrophe that will further entrench poverty and inequality. It is vital the next head of the OECD have a record that demonstrates a real commitment to taking action on climate change.”

Kelly O'Shanassy, CEO of the Australian Conservation Foundation, said “Climate change is the greatest challenge facing the world’s leaders, particularly those that need to lead the global transformation to zero emissions economies.”

“The next Secretary-General of the OECD will have a significant influence on how the world tackles climate change, so it is imperative that position is held by a person who has a strong track record on climate policy and action and is up to the challenge.”

To read the letter click here.

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