Australia

'Everything you are told is a lie': Craig Kelly hits out at climate strike students

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A Coalition backbencher has challenged the 'scientific consensus' on climate change.

Coalition MP Craig Kelly has told the thousands of Australian students planning to join Friday's climate strike that "everything you are told is a lie".

"The facts are, there is no link between climate change and drought, polar bears are increasing in number," Mr Kelly said during Question Time in Parliament on Thursday.

"Today's generation is safer from extreme weather than at any time in human history," he said.

Thousands of school students from across Sydney attend the Climate Strike in March.
Thousands of school students from across Sydney attend the Climate Strike in March.
AAP

On Friday, thousands of Australian students will join more than 100 rallies as part of the Global Climate Strike, which is held three days before the UN Climate Change Summit.

The students are demanding the Morrison government commit to no new coal, oil and gas projects; 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030; and funding a "just" transition for fossil fuel workers.

The students held their first strike in March and this time around many adults are also planning to walk out from work to show solidarity.

But Mr Kelly slammed the strike, saying students who plan to take part are "sheep" that are being "manipulated".

"I understand how persuasive peer group pressure can be for teenagers, and their desire to conform and fit in with the crowd," he said.

"[But] there is no 97 per cent consensus [among scientists on climate change], such claims are a fraud."

The Sutherland Shire MP has a history of making similar comments, previously saying "the climate was always dangerous, we didn't make it dangerous".

climate change
Worldwide climate strikes will take place on 20 September.
AAP

Material from US space agency NASA suggests there is a wide scientific consensus on climate change.

"Multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals show that 97 per cent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree: climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities," it says.

"In addition, most of the leading scientific organisations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position."

A NASA-funded study has also found that there has been declining sea ice for all subpopulations of polar bears, which can negatively impact feeding and breeding capabilities. 

The IPCC warned last year that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees - the optimal level aimed for in the Paris climate deal - would be impossible without a drastic drawdown in greenhouse gas emissions.

The Coalition government says it's on track to reduce carbon emissions by at least 26 per cent by 2030, in line with Paris Agreement commitments.

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