Environment Minister Greg Hunt ‘killed’ idea from Tony Abbott’s department for BoM review
Environment Minister Greg Hunt has confirmed he “killed” the idea of a review into the Bureau of Meteorology over claims it was exaggerating estimates of global warming.
- BoM’s temperature measurement questioned
- Investigation idea discussed with Hunt
- Hunt says BoM’s reports not “propaganda”
- BoM said it did not exaggerate global warming
Freedom of Information documents obtained by the ABC show that former prime minister Tony Abbott’s own department considered an investigation into BoM, following reports published by The Australian newspaper.
The reports in August and September 2014 questioned the Bureau’s methodology for analysing temperatures, claiming BoM was “wilfully ignoring evidence that contradicts its own propaganda”.
But Mr Hunt told Lateline that when the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet raised the matter of an investigation with him, he shut it down.
“My answer was very clear: we have perhaps the best or one of the best meteorological organisations in the world. I have full confidence in their data and the idea was killed at that point,” he said.
Mr Hunt said there was no evidence that BoM’s reports were “propaganda”.
“I’ve had full confidence in what I think is a world-class organisation which is based on hard science, hard data, literally millions of points of information through our satellite and our local monitoring,” he said.
“I reaffirmed that and an idea which came to my department from another department was killed off.
“Frankly, my view was crystal clear: There was no need for such a review because there had already been the periodic normal review which found that their practices were sound, scientific and of the highest calibre.”
At the time the BoM also strongly rejected assertions it was altering climate records to exaggerate estimates of global warming.
Government’s environment policy ‘is set’: Hunt
Meanwhile, Mr Hunt has also reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to the Direct Action Policy.
The Climate Change Authority has been tasked with reporting back to the Government on whether an emissions trading scheme is a viable idea.
Despite that, Mr Hunt said the Government’s policy was set.
“I’m always prepared to read material, but our policy is set and we are certainly not going to a carbon tax or emissions trading scheme,” he said.
Mr Hunt also said there should be “additional confidence” in the renewables sector because it was something he and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull shared a passion for.
“Now we have somebody who has a deep, strong passion for renewables. We share that passion and I think that that will add additional confidence to the sector,” he said.
He would not say if that would extend to lifting a ban on the Clean Energy Finance Corporation investing in wind technology, but Mr Hunt said he would be meeting the group’s chair on Friday for talks.