ACF congratulates Sussan Ley and Angus Taylor on being appointed as ministers in the important environment and energy portfolios.

In response to the appointments of Sussan Ley and Angus Taylor as environment and energy ministers respectively, Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) Chief Executive Officer, Kelly O’Shanassy, said:

“ACF congratulates Sussan Ley and Angus Taylor on being appointed as ministers in the important environment and energy portfolios, the latter now also including direct responsibility for cutting climate pollution.

“Ms Ley faces significant challenges in protecting Australia’s unique and much-loved wildlife, especially in light of the major global scientific report released earlier this month detailing the alarming decline of our natural world on which humanity depends for food, clean water and a stable climate.

“Sadly, Australia leads the world when it comes to mammal extinctions and we have a poor record on protecting biodiversity, with more than 7.4 million hectares of threatened species habitat – an area larger than Tasmania – destroyed in the last 20 years. At the same time Australia’s national environment budget has been slashed by 38 per cent since 2013.

“Australia will face international scrutiny on its record when countries meet next year in Kunming, China to negotiate a new global deal designed to halt extinctions and save the natural world.

“While there has been some commentary about the performance of former-Environment Minister Melissa Price, she was ultimately representing the government’s position. Ms Price’s deficiencies in the environment portfolio were a reflection of the deficiencies of the Morrison Government’s overall investment and policies for protecting nature, and Ms Ley must now set a more responsible course.  

“Mr Taylor faces similar challenges in bringing Australia’s rising climate pollution under control, sorting out the Coalition’s chaotic approach to clean energy, and meeting community expectations for genuine action on climate change.

“Worsening heatwaves, droughts and super-charged extreme weather events continue to affect all Australians – in cities and regional areas, across all ages and demographics.

“Climate change was the most searched political issue on Google in the final fortnight of the recent election campaign, and the Lowy Institute poll found most Australians now rate climate change a bigger threat than terrorism.

“Other countries will want to know how Australia will meet our targets and lift our ambition under the Paris Agreement when nations meet at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York in September.

“As Australia’s national environment group, with more than 50 years of experience and more than half a million supporters from all parts of the country, ACF stands ready to assist Ms Ley and Mr Taylor as they take on these big challenges on behalf of all Australians.”

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