The Minerals Council of Australia’s desperate attempt to try to spin the fossil fuel divestment campaign as illegal is good news for the campaign, say the Australian Greens.
“More and more Australians are divesting and ensuring their money is not contributing to worsening climate change – clearly this is worrying the big miners who are intent on exploiting fossil fuels for private profit even as the rest of the world shifts to clean energy,” Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens mining spokesperson, said.
“The Minerals Council of Australia has commissioned an academic economist on the payroll of the right-wing Institute of Public Affairs, who today has predictably come out criticising the fossil fuel divestment campaign.
“Obviously, the big mining companies are squirming and the pressure is on the Minerals Council to try to do something – this just goes to show how powerful the fossil fuel divestment campaign is.
“In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, ‘first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
“The world needs the fossil fuel divestment campaign to win – our climate and our Great Barrier Reef depend on it.
“But the big mining companies and the Abbott Government are doing all they can to try and stop the fossil fuel divestment campaign from succeeding.
“The Abbott Government, at the behest of its big business and big mining buddies, is currently considering changes to the law so that boycotts for environment and consumer protection are made illegal.
“This position is hypocritical in the extreme, considering the Abbott Government’s willingness to promote freedom of speech in many other areas of public policy, including the removal of protections against racist hate speech in section 18C.
“It seems freedom of speech is only allowed when the Abbott Government says so.
“The Abbott Government wants to silence the community so that the big end of town can take whatever it wants.
“The Greens will block any backward steps by the Abbott Government on community rights,” Senator Waters said.