After 12 years of providing independent advocacy and research towards climate change solutions, the Climate Institute will shut its doors due to lack of funding.
Australia’s first non-government organisation created to focus solely on climate change isn’t going down without calling out the government.
Chairman Mark Wootton took a parting shot at “some in government” who use climate change as a tool in partisan ideological battles.
“We are disappointed that some in government prefer to treat what should be a risk management issue as a proxy for political and ideological battles,” he said. “They are increasingly isolated as the costs of inaction mount and the opportunities and benefits of action become ever clearer.”
Outgoing CEO John Connor agreed with this appraisal of “embarrassing” politicians using “toxic” and “hyper-partisan” tactics to deal with climate policy to The Huffington Post.
"Some say facts are for losers in this current climate. Facts have a funny way of just hanging around and going back to bite you," he said.
"It is frankly embarrassing," he told HuffPost Australia.
"We have alternative clean energy technologies at a scale and speed that are probably going to have to be the only solution we actually have to our increasingly brittle electricity system.
"The uncertainly and the squabbling is the biggest threat to energy security, jobs and prices. And those three words; cost of living."
In fact, Peta Credlin recently admitted the Gillard government climate change policy was never a carbon tax – that was merely how they framed it as an election winning tactic in 2010, and it’s tenaciously hung on.
As a result, policies to prevent climate change are synonymous with expenses the taxpayer can’t afford.
Although the institute receives ongoing support from philanthropic and business entities, it will be forced to shut its doors on 30 June after the expiry of its funding bequest.
Despite its demise, Wootton said he was pleased with the amount of progress made by the Climate Institute since 2005.
“[We’re proud of making] an enduring contribution towards its 2050 vision of a resilient Australia prospering in a zero-carbon global economy, participating fully and fairly in international climate change solutions,” he said.