Environmental groups have welcomed the Government’s appointments to the Climate Change Authority (CCA) but have called for a full review of its membership.
The three new appointees announced by Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen are Professor Lesley Hughes, Sam Mostyn and Dr Virginia Marshall.
Hughes and Mostyn previously served on the environment group The Climate Council which was set up with public funds after it was defunded by the former Conservative Government.
The CCA was established as an independent statutory body in 2011 by the Gillard government to provide expert advice to the Australian Government on climate change policy.
Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie said: “We are at a momentous point in Australia’s history to finally accelerate climate action this decade, with the Climate Act now enshrined in law.
“The CCA can play an important role, but its leadership is crucial to rebuilding its credibility. Sam Mostyn and Professor Lesley Hughes will provide the courageous, honest, independent, science-backed advice the Federal Government needs to drive real action on the climate crisis.
“This is precisely what is needed right now. We have to stay focussed on the urgent need for deeper emissions cuts this decade in line with the science and our international responsibilities.
“To ensure the CCA is fully equipped for this task, the existing membership of the Board should also be reviewed.”
Climate change legislation passed last week has given the authority expanded responsibilities, including advising the government on future emissions reduction targets and an annual statement to parliament by the climate change minister.
Bowen has announced no changes to the six existing board members, only the three vacancies.
“The Climate Change Authority has a crucial role to play and these three additional members will bring vital skills and experience,” Bowen said in a media release.
“With this expanded membership, the authority is better placed to oversee emissions reduction efforts and provide government with expert advice.”
Jacinta Bowler is a science journalist at Cosmos. They have a undergraduate degree in genetics and journalism from the University of Queensland and have been published in the Best Australian Science Writing 2022.
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