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Coal catastrophe: why Scott Morrison can't give in to Queensland triumphalism

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It’s safe to observe the 2019 election was not a good election for the climate.

The basic facts speak for themselves. A government with a sub-optimal policy was returned for another term, and Labor will now go through another, likely painful, round of recalibration of its climate offering. It’s unlikely Labor will stage a dramatic retreat from climate action, but there will certainly be an internal push to temper the current policy with an eye to regional sensibilities, and by regional sensibilities I mean the sensibilities of coal communities.

While Saturday night’s result isn’t what the country or the climate needs – a government, apparently without the will to tackle the problem, back in power for three years, and an opposition licking its wounds, wondering how long it can keep going to elections championing climate action, and losing – it would be a mistake to conclude the issue is now completely off the agenda.

Climate change in Canberra remains a movable feast.

Let’s examine the dynamics inside the government. It’s absolutely true that the pro-coal faction in Queensland will be emboldened, courtesy of Saturday’s positive election result, and will have zero interest in internal arguments in favour of strengthening the government’s existing climate policy framework.

By some accounts, the north Queensland triumphalism currently extends to the resources minister, Matt Canavan, making a play to combine the energy and resources portfolios in Scott Morrison’s........

© The Guardian