Bob Brown slams Chris Bowen’s climate failure

The Greens co-founder didn’t hold back in a far-reaching interview with Crikey, weighing in on the danger of AUKUS, his admiration for Extinction Rebellion activists, and Lidia Thorpe’s Mardi Gras protest.

Former Greens leader Bob Brown (Image: AAP/Ethan James)
Former Greens leader Bob Brown (Image: AAP/Ethan James)

He’s done time in prison for his outlandish brand of environmental activism, publicly heckled the president of the United States over our troops in Iraq, and came out as the first openly gay politician some two decades before it was legal in his home state of Tasmania. Yet the one thing that continues to dog Australia’s environmental forefather Bob Brown is the CPRS veto.

The Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, or CPRS, was front of mind for many when Brown’s successor Adam Bandt dug in his heels about the crown jewel in Labor’s climate policy — the safeguard mechanism — in February. The Greens leader declared his party would only support amendments to the Coalition-era policy, which forces companies to slash emissions or cough up a fine, if Prime Minister Anthony Albanese swore there’d be no more coal and gas projects.

After some invaluable publicity, Bandt later revised the position to a request, not a dealbreaker, with the legislation passed through the Senate after the Greens won some concessions from the government. But that didn’t stop many — such as former head of the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Blair Comley and Climate and Energy Minister Chris Bowen — from drawing the false equivalence to Brown’s Greens voting down the CPRS in 2009.

Read more from this interview with Greens co-founder Bob Brown.

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