The Australian Greens will move for a Senate Inquiry into the fossil fuel industry's influence over politics, as the House of Representatives inquiry hearings into removing tax deductibility from environment groups begin today.
Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens Deputy Leader and climate and environment spokesperson, who will lodge Terms of Reference for the Inquiry in the Senate today, said:
"The Abbott Government is out to destroy the environment and those who seek to protect it, on behalf of its big fossil fuel industry mates.
"The House of Representatives inquiry into the tax deductibility status of environment groups is a witch-hunt designed to silence criticism of this government's woeful environmental record.
"It's time to ask some questions about the donations fossil fuel companies make to the big parties and their lobby groups' tax-free political campaigns.
"Australians care about the environment and want climate action.
"One in five Australians donate to environment or animal welfare groups and, as the Lowy Institute poll out today has found, two thirds want the government to commit to significant carbon pollution reductions.
"Today, 51 civil society groups have banded together to call for a carbon pollution reduction target of at least 40 per cent by 2025 and at least 60 per cent by 2030.
"The important call comes as Pope Francis prepares to call for global action to address climate change in a papal encyclical.
"Tony Abbott needs to start listening to the community and to climate science instead of only listening to the big polluters, their slick lobbyists and mega political donations.
"And Labor needs to walk away from its deal with Tony Abbott to slash our Renewable Energy Target in the Senate today.
"The big parties' agreement to slash our Renewable Energy Target would make Australia the only country in the world to go backward on renewable energy ambition, if it is passed in the Senate," Senator Waters said.