Global temperatures have risen about 1C since 1900, overwhelmingly due to greenhouse gas emissions. In Australia, the average increase has been 1.4C. It has been linked to unprecedented bushfires, rainfall events that have caused catastrophic flooding and four mass coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef since 2016. Skiers and riders know that this has already had a negative impact on our snowpack, which has been in decline since the 1950s.
We know that national leadership on climate change has faltered under the Coalition. The federal election is an important opportunity to demand that all parties commit to decisive action to reduce emissions, and hence play our part in protecting winter.
Of course there are many things that matter when we vote. But climate change should be one of them. And unless we vote now for science based climate policy, we know the implications for mountain environments.
Liberal National Coalition
According to analysis by Climate Analytics, the Morrison government’s climate change commitments are consistent with more than 3C of global heating, bordering on 4C, a level that would lead to catastrophic damage across the planet.
The Liberal’s environment and energy policies can be found here.
The Nationals don’t have a specific policy covering climate change. Climate change is not one of the Nationals top five priorities. You can find their policies here.
The Australian Labor Party
The ALP has reaffirmed its plans to cut Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by 45% on 2005 levels by 2030, and ensure 50% of the nation’s electricity comes from renewable sources by 2030. Additionally, it has announced a long term target of net zero greenhouse gas pollution by 2050.
Labor’s climate target was found to be consistent with about 2C of heating above pre-industrial levels. Both would be expected to lead to the loss of tropical coral reefs, including the Great Barrier Reef, and a significant rise in the number of extreme heat events in Australia, assuming other countries took equivalent action.
The ALP’s climate platform can be found here.
The ALP’s environment policies can be found here.
The Australian Greens
The Greens say Australia should be cutting by 75% by 2030.
The Greens climate platform is available here.
The Greens environment platform is available here.
The Climate Independents
The ‘teal’ independents largely support a climate bill proposed by Zali Steggall that includes a 60% target.
There are more than 22 candidates covered under the Climate 200 umbrella. They are self described as being ‘pro-climate, pro-integrity and pro-gender-equity Independent candidates’.
You can details on them, and their individual policies, here.
The micro parties
Be aware that many of the micro parties are deeply anti environment and opposed to government taking meaningful action on climate change. These include
- Pauline Hanson’s One Nation (PHON is a climate change denialist party)
- Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party
- The Liberal Democrats (who advocate for the deployment of nuclear power)
- Far right independents like those associated with ‘Australia One’ who have been focusing on harvesting anti-vaccine-mandate and anti-lockdown sentiment. The Australian Federation Party is conservative, anti-public health, and has no formal climate, energy, environment policies. There are many candidates running on a ‘Freedom platform’ against public health orders and vaccination mandates. Most of them have no climate or environment policies. This is a good (Melbourne focused) assessment of the policies of many micro parties.
Most of these groups hold climate denier/ anti environment positions. If you are considering voting for them, we urge you to check their policies on climate, energy and environment.
Here are some links to assessments.
Vote Climate. Available here.
Climate and Health Alliance. Available here.
Australian Religious Response to Climate Change. Available here.
Thanks to Friends of the Earth for the information used in this post.
Authorised by Cam Walker, 5 Crystal Creek lane, Dinner Plain, 3898.