Friends of the Earth press release
Monday 18 November 2013

The ‘ashes’ of the Australian Government’s conscience on climate change were presented to the nation’s High Commission in London today by Friends of the Earth (Monday 18 November 2013). The award was in recognition of Australia’s mounting opposition to international efforts to cut carbon emissions at the UN climate summit, currently taking place in Warsaw, Poland.

Campaigners from the environment charity dressed in cricket whites to hand over a replica of the Ashes cricket urn, bearing the message: “The Ashes: Here lies Australia’s climate conscience”.

The action was part of a world-wide protest against the Australian Government’s decision to turn its back on its responsibilities to cut fossil fuel pollution and its attempts to block moves to put in place a fund to give financial help to people hit by future climate disasters.

Last week Philippine negotiator Yeb Saño gave an emotional speech to the climate summit calling on world Governments to finally step-up and act on climate change, and an end to the current “climate madness”.

Friends of the Earth’s Head of Campaigns Andrew Pendleton said:

“The Australian Government’s opposition to climate change action is a national disgrace.

“Every nation should be going in to bat for the planet and tackling the mounting threat of global warming. We all need to play our part in building a cleaner future.”

Contact: Neil Verlander, Friends of the Earth press office: 020 7566 1649 / 07712 843 209

Notes to editors


1. The climate Ashes were presented to the Australian High Commission today by Friends of the Earth’s Head of Campaigns Andrew Pendleton.

2. The environmental campaign group also handed in a certificate (mimicking the original citation on the Ashes) saying:

“In affectionate remembrance of
Which died at the Warsaw Climate Talks
on 16th NOVEMBER 2013
Deeply lamented by millions of people affected by climate disasters

3. The UN Climate Conference in Warsaw, Poland, runs from 11 November 2013 until 22 November 2013. This is the annual “Conference of the Parties” (COP 19) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and its Kyoto Protocol (CMP 9), where “decisions” and “amendments” are agreed in order to set the international legal framework for responding to climate change.

4. The Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has turned his back on his country’s longstanding policy to reduce Australia’s emissions by 5-25% of 2000 levels by 2020, focussing only on the 5% target . And its planned repeal of Clean Energy Legislation and replacement with a Direct Action Plan is predicted to see even this inadequate target missed, with emissions actually rising, according to analysis by academics at Climate Action Tracker

5.  Huge crowd attends Melbourne rally on climate change:

6.  A briefing on the climate talks from Friends of the Earth Europe:  

7.  The Ashes cricket series between Australia and England starts on Thursday 21 November 2013.

8. For more than 40 years we’ve seen that the wellbeing of people and planet go hand in hand – and it’s been the inspiration for our campaigns. Together with thousands of people like you we’ve secured safer food and water, defended wildlife and natural habitats, championed the move to clean energy and acted to keep our climate stable. Be a Friend of the Earth – see things differently. For further information visit: