A top Australian government business adviser has said climate change is a hoax by the United Nations.
Most climate models were wrong and there was little evidence of climate change, said Maurice Newman.
He said the UN had used climate change as a “hook” to establish and control a new world order.
Mr Newman’s comments were rejected by climate scientists, while Environment Minister Greg Hunt said it was “not something I would express”.
Asked at a press conference what he thought of Mr Newman’s comments, Mr Hunt said individuals were “entitled to their views”.
On a per capita basis, Australia is one of the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases.
Coalition governments in Australia have a history of climate change scepticism. One of the current government’s first actions when it won power in 2013 was to dump the previous Labor government’s tax on carbon emissions because of the cost to industry.
The UN says there is a strong scientific consensus that the global climate is changing and that human activity contributes significantly to this trend.
Mr Newman chairs Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s Business Advisory Council and is a former chairperson of the Australian Stock Exchange.
He wrote in an opinion article for The Australian newspaper on Friday: “It’s a well-kept secret, but 95% of the climate models we are told prove the link between human CO2 emissions and catastrophic global warming have been found, after nearly two decades of temperature stasis, to be in error.”
Mr Newman said the public had been “subjected to extravagance from climate catastrophists for close to 50 years”, and swallowed “dud predictions” from weather bureaus who presented “homogenised” data to suit narratives.
He also said the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which reviews and assesses scientific work relevant to climate change for the UN, had been exposed “repeatedly for misrepresentation and shoddy methods”.
The UN, he said, was spending hundreds of billions of dollars a year on “futile climate change policies”.
“The real agenda is concentrated political authority,” he said. “Global warming is the hook.”
Mr Newman, who is also a former chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, said the executive secretary of the UN’s Framework on Climate Change, Christiana Figueres, was using climate change to oppose capitalism.
“This is not about facts or logic. It’s about a new world order under the control of the UN. It is opposed to capitalism and freedom and has made environmental catastrophism a household topic to achieve its objective.”
Ms Figueres was in Australia this week and addressed a climate summit in Melbourne on Wednesday.
Climate change expert Professor David Karoly from the University of Melbourne, said Mr Newman’s comments did not represent any peer reviewed study or assessment of climate change.
“It is clear he has deliberately tried to mislead the Australian public,” said Professor Karoly, who is considering making a complaint to the Australian Press Council about the article.
He said the government’s decision to appoint Mr Newman to its business advisory council was akin to Qantas having a chairman that believed the earth was flat.