Prominent global warming sceptic Hugh Morgan wouldn't be everyone's first choice to chair a high-level forum on tackling climate change. But that's exactly what he did at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Perth last week.
As environmental journalist Graham Redfearn reports, Morgan hosted a session last Tuesday at the Commonwealth Business Council's bi-annual forum titled "Tackling Climate Change and Energy Challenges: A Government Business Partnership".
Environment minister Greg Combet attended the session, as did government representatives from the UK, South Africa and Bangladesh.
The forum failed to reach consensus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions -- a result Commonwealth Business Council director-general Mohan Kaul put down to the "diverse views" of the leaders in attendance.
Hugh Morgan is a director and founding member of the climate sceptic Lavoisier Group which has been a strident opponent of efforts to reduce Australia's greenhouse gas emissions.
In 2006 Clive Hamilton named Morgan as one of the "dirty dozen" who had been most responsible for stymieing action on climate change in Australia.
Morgan, a former CEO of the Western Mining Corporation, is a member of the Coalition's Business Advisory Council on climate policy. He is also a member of Gina Rinehart's mining lobby group Australians for Northern Development and Economic Vision which aims to create a new low-tax 'economic zone' in Northern Australia.
Greens Senator Christine Milne tells The Power Index, "I think Australians deserve to know who made the decision to invite one of the country's most aggressive and thoroughly debunked climate deniers to chair a Commonwealth meeting on climate action.
"Given his long-standing public campaigning against climate action, what role did Mr Morgan play in this meeting?"
The Power Index has requested comment from Hugh Morgan, Greg Combet's office and the London-based Commonwealth Business Council.