FLINDERS MP Greg Hunt has been named Best Minister in the World for his role, as Australia’s Environment Minister, in reducing carbon emissions by 93 million tonnes.
The award was announced and presented to Mr Hunt at the World Government Summit in Dubai on Tuesday 9 February.
“I am genuinely humbled to receive the award. I am however deeply proud that this inaugural award is being presented to an environment minister. The environment is our common heritage, our land, our home and our identity,” Mr Hunt said in his acceptance speech.
Mr Hunt is the inaugural recipient of the annual award introduced at the summit “to honour the best minister in the world who has led a new and successful qualitative government project with positive results for citizens. It is also aimed at promoting best practices that would inspire other government leaders to implement their own successful projects”.
The award was presented to Mr Hunt by prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Nominations for the best minister award came from more than 80 countries. UAE ministers were excluded from the first award.
Mr Hunt said the UAE – an oil producer – “is promoting renewable industry while supporting research in clean technology”.
“There are great challenges. However, I am fundamentally optimistic. In that context, we all learn from each other and perhaps there are some policies and programs we have in Australia that maybe can be implemented domestically and internationally.”
The 93 million tonnes of emissions reduction attributed to Mr Hunt is the result of the Emissions Reduction Fund supported by $2.55 billion for the federal government to buy carbon abatement at the lowest cost through a reverse auction.
Mr Hunt says the scheme’s two auctions achieved 93 million tonnes of emissions reduction from 275 practical projects at an average price of $13 a tonne.
While Mr Hunt’s efforts receive international recognition and acclaim, back home his constituents are not always so appreciative of his political stance. “Hunt stands firm on official asylum seeker line, The News 9/2/2016”.