Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop Wins ‘Prestigious’ Paris Climate Award


Julie Bishop is saving the poor at the United Nations, and earlier this week she was recognised by the Climate Action Network for the good work she’s been doing while in Paris for make-or-break climate change negotiations. Thom Mitchell reports.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has won Australia the highest honour of the United Nations climate talks in Paris, The Fossil of the Day Award, which was presented in a salubrious ceremony on Thursday.

At a high level presentation on the sidelines of the ‘summit to save the world’, media personality Dan Ilic explained why Australia had triumphed, and Bishop had emerged clutching the top gong.

“Last night Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop spoke at a side event hosted by Indonesia, where she said the following (these words came out of Julie Bishop’s mouth): ‘Coal will remain critical for promoting prosperity, growing economies, and alleviating hunger for years to come’,” Ilic said.

“You’re welcome poor people, here’s some coal,” he said, before instructing his aides to “hand out some coal to these poor people”.

Ilic reflected on the unique flavour, and under appreciated nutritional value of the much-maligned mineral, appearing to hint at the co-benefits Australia’s generosity could have in delivering a continuing market for the nation’s second largest export commodity.

In awe of Bishop’s genius, Ilic became overwhelmed:

“Yes! Delicious, coal! Yummy, delicious coal! Eat It, Eat It, Eat It! EAT THAT COAL! You know in France you have a saying, ‘let them eat cake’,” the Australian born semi-celebrity said, “but in Australia, we say ‘let them eat coal’!”

Unfortunately, the crowd had been – somehow, it’s not clear how – infiltrated by radical extremist greenies.

Vigilante Litigants had somehow managed to track down hemp suits in the French capital, normally so fashionable, and slip through the airport-level security at the beige gates of the United Nations, which had until now kept the miscreants out.

It was an alarming breach of UN security protocols, and Ilic’s rapture at the Foreign Minister’s compassion was interrupted by a wave of uncouth booing. The frenzied mob was brought to heel by security personnel, though, which let whiff a plume of marijuana that allowed Ilic to espouse further the Minister’s tremendous finesse for innovation.

“This is the best part about this,” he said. “She said this at an event [hosted]by Indonesia, called ‘pathways to a sustainable low carbon and climate resilient economy’: I actually think she got mixed up, and thought she was going to talk at a place called ‘pathways to a sustainable low carb economy’.”

Australia was not alone on the podium of economic diversification and disruption, though, and Argentina also accepted accolades. It is the final sitting day of Argentina’s Parliament, Ilic said, and in an eleventh-hour push to save the coal sector by nationalising parts of it before a new President assumes the throne, the incumbents are tying up the loose ends of “a campaign that basically says that coal is the fuel of the future”.

“Just like Argentina, Australia backed 1.5 degrees for the new temperature goal,” Ilic said, “admittedly, because they thought no one else would do that”.

“And yet the Australian government still supports the construction of the largest coal mine in the Southern Hemisphere – right on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef,” he said.

“In Australia we love the big things: The Big Banana, the Big Prawn, the Big Sheep, the Big Knob [Rupert Murdoch].

“So we are excited to be adding the Big Coal Mine. This is what it would look like if it was in Paris! Fantastic, look at that! Looks like a coal turd, doesn’t it! Fantastic!

“Julie Bishop’s former boss once said that ‘coal is good for humanity’, but the truth is coal isn’t good for humanity – it’s not even good for coal company shareholders. So Australia and Argentina are two lumps of coal in a pit… both these countries are two-faced at this conference. Both are promising big things, but both are sabotaging the world.

“So, can I get an Aussie Aussie Aussie, Olay Olay Olay?”

New Matilda understands Julie Bishop was tied up negotiating for an “ambitious agreement”, and she was not on hand to accept Australia’s award. It was received instead by her Parliamentary colleague Richard Di Natale, who let the assembled crowd and global media in on a little secret.

Julie Bishop serves her coal, he said, “with a death stare”.

Thom Mitchell is New Matilda's Environment Reporter.