The Keating cabinet in 1995, featuring John Faulkner (back row, centre), whose vision for a carbon price was thwarted.
AAP Image/National Archives of Australia
Paul Keating's government, faced with the prospect of international action on climate change, took steps to preserve the coal industry - a tactic that has been rebooted many times since.
Prime Minister Bob Hawke opening the General Assembly of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Perth, November 1990.
National Archives of Australia
The National Archives of Australia today released selected federal cabinet records for 1990 and 1991. They reveal intense battles over Australia's domestic climate targets and, above all, a palpable determination that Australia not damage its coal revenue.
Ros Kelly was the first in a long line of federal ministers to address themselves to the question of Australia’s emissions target.
AAP Image/Lee Besford
When Australia's government first pledged to set an emission-reduction target, Jon Bon Jovi was riding high in the charts. The progress made in the 25 years since has hardly been a blaze of glory.