Carbon not a pollutant: Liberal senator claims in Parliament
Government senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells believes school students should be taught the vital role of carbon dioxide instead of learning about its effect on climate change.
The former Turnbull government minister took aim at the "herd mentality" of blaming climate change on carbon dioxide, particularly man-made emissions.
"CO2 is not a pollutant. It is a clean, odourless and colourless gas. It is vital for the health of our planet and indeed vital to our very existence," the Liberal senator told parliament on Thursday.
She said carbon dioxide was food for plants and plankton.
"It is very troubling this is no longer being taught in our schools. Young Australians are not receiving the facts about the crucial role CO2 plays in the life cycle," Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.
"Indeed they are strongly labelling CO2 as a pollutant instead of informing Australians of its vital role in the process of photosynthesis."
The Morrison government has been forced to fight claims it is hamstrung on climate action by backbenchers who don't believe in climate science.
It continues to be a deeply divisive issue within the coalition amid mounting pressure to do more on cutting Australia's emissions.
Senator Fierravanti-Wells said she believes in climate change because it has always happened.
"From the Roman warming to the cooling of the dark ages, the medieval warming, the little ice age and the warming of the late 20th century until now - our climate has changed," she said.