Q Senator Macdonald, have you seen Lord Deben’s comments?
A I’ve seen the article you’ve sent through yes.
Q Okay, so what do you make of what he is saying, his criticism of the Abbott Government for repealing the Carbon Tax?
A Well, first of all I think the Australian Government and the Australian policy should be run by Australians, not by some retired English Lord. Also, I find it surprising that Lord Deben would be criticising Australia which emits less than 1.4% of the world’s carbon emissions and not making mention of China. It’s also interesting to have a look on Google and just see about Lord Deben’s business interests and I make no comment on that except to encourage people to have a look on Google and see where he earns his money currently.
Q Could you elaborate on that? Are you saying that he’s making these comments for personal profit?
A No, I’m not saying that and I’m very well aware of the laws of defamation. I’m just urging people to have a look at Google and just see what sort of background Lord Deben has. He is certainly involved, according to the website, in a number of environmental companies perhaps one dealing with the UK’s biggest wind farm which he has an interest in, as I think Chair. He’s apparently a sustainability consultant with Sandcroft and involved with a recycling company and none of that’s bad of course but one just wonders about the independence of people who clearly do have connections with the whole issue of renewable energy and climate change. But again I just find it strange that a retired English politician, now a member of the House of Lords, would be criticising Australia which, as I say, emits less than 1.4% of the world’s emissions of carbon and Australia’s plan is to reduce our emissions by 5% which is infinitesimal. I wonder what Lord Deben says about the European Union of which the United Kingdom is a member and which I know emits far more carbon than Australia ever would. And similarly I again repeat why his interest in Australian politics and not a comment perhaps on China which clearly is one of the world’s really big emitters of carbon.
Q Well, he has anticipated criticism of him for commenting on the Australian political situation by saying that Australia does affect Britain’s climate just as Britain affects Australia’s climate and this is a global problem that the world has to deal with.
A Look, there’s no doubt about the world’s climate is one entity so to speak, but again I repeat, Australia emits less than 1.4% of global emissions.
Q But per capita it is much more.
A Well per capita is an irrelevant argument. He is saying Australia is affecting Britain’s climate – well, Australia emits less than 1.4% of the world’s carbon emissions. China, the European Union of which his country is a member, emit far more than that and you just have to wonder.
Q But China is doing more than anyone else in the world.
A Well, he says that and so do the Greens Political Party in Australia, but the fact of the matter is that whilst China is doing something, so is Australia doing something but the emissions from China are enormous and are unlikely to substantially reduce at any time in the future. Now the Greens Political Party in Australia deny that and so does, so you say, Lord Deben, but you know the facts speak for themselves and it’s just a curious intervention in politics from a person who has little relevance in Australia.
Q All right Senator, I think that covers it from my end so thank you very much; I much appreciate it.
A That’s okay, bye.