The roots of Australia’s climate denial: how the IPA almost singly handedly kicked it off

Greenpeace has recently published a report called “Doubting Australia: the roofs of Australia’s climate denial“.  

It provides some good background on the history of the denial movement in Australia and profiles some of it’s more prominent members:  

 “…The roots of climate denial in Australia can be found in the relationships between fossil fuel industry-funded groups in the US and Australian mining industry, including a push, in the mid- 1990’s, to kick Australia into a state of denial.

With a massive coal and mining industry backing him, Australian Prime Minister John Howard’s government was the perfect breeding ground for climate denial. This was recognised by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) in 1996, which began strategising to develop the Australian arm of their campaign to stop the Kyoto Protocol, which negotiators were just one year away from concluding.

The CEI is a US Libertarian anti-regulation “free market” think tank. For many years it has attacked global warming science and has received more than $2 million in funding from Exxon since 1998. The CEI coordinates the “Cooler Heads Coalition” and the website It is perhaps best known for its bizarre “CO2 is life” advertisements in 2006. Shortly after these ran ExxonMobil dropped its funding, under pressure from, among others, the UK Royal Society. In November 1996 a strategy meeting was held at the CEI in Washington that would begin to cement the cross-pollination of people and ideas between Australia and the US.”  

The denial movement in Australia is small, and they rely heavily on material and (ahem) ideas from their US counter parts.  

The report also provides some additional background to those wishing to know just how the movement got started.

And yes, we have our old friends at the Institute of Public Affairs to thank for kicking off the denial machine down under:  

 “…But even before this group of think tanks got together, the Institute of Public Affairs had begun its climate denial campaign. The IPA has been at the heart of climate denial in Australia since it began – one could even argue that the IPA started the climate denial movement in Australia. It is a free market think tank, at times heavily funded by the fossil fuel industry and with strong links to the Australian liberal party.”  

 Obviously I’ve been watching the IPA for some time.  

For good reason it would seem.


2 thoughts on “The roots of Australia’s climate denial: how the IPA almost singly handedly kicked it off

  1. Fred Orth says:

    US deniers would not have gained ground if it were not for a fertile opportunity in Australia. This has got to be one of our worst “exports”.

  2. We at FoGT were under the impression that Australian research agencies were instrumental in the denial:

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