In a pair of interviews given ahead of her upcoming visit to Australia, author and activist Naomi Klein branded Prime Minister Tony Abbott as a “climate villain” and said that Canadians and Australians can relate because they are both run by governments bent on destroying the planet.
“In Canada I can’t tell where the oil industry ends and the government begins and in Australia the same is true when it comes to coal,” she told Guardian Australia in an interview published Sunday.
Klein will be making her first trip to Australia in 14 years to speak at the Melbourne Writers Festival on August 29 and 30 before headlining Sydney’s Festival of Dangerous Ideas on September 5.
Both the governments of Australia and Canada have been lambasted by environmentalists for being distinctly pro-fossil fuel amid ever-increasing awareness about the dangers of carbon emissions. With the upcoming Canadian elections, Klein says there is hope that things will change in her country. “If that happens, Australia will be isolated as a climate villain,” she said.
She added that Abbott’s climate record is “particularly shocking” given that “Australia is very much on the frontline of climate change. Also, being a Pacific nation, your closest neighbours are facing a truly existential threat. So I find it even more shocking that Australia is a hotbed of climate denial.”
Her comments come just one week after Abbott unveiled his plan to reduce carbon emissions 26-28 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels, which many blasted as being insufficient to reach the 2°C warming threshold.
Klein further expanded on this idea in an interview with Australia’s Fairfax Media published Monday, providing a glimpse of the themes she expects to touch upon during her speaking trip.
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