Climate emergency party enters federal election

Australia has a new ‘Climate Party’ formed around the climate emergency. It is called Independents for Climate Action Now, ICAN.

Environmental scientist Jim Tait is leader of the party and a senate candidate in New South Wales. He wrote on Facebook:

“ICAN is a party of allied Independents bound by a commitment to delivering effective, scientific evidence-based policies to address the Climate Emergency. Science informs us that climate change is an existential threat to human society and life as we know it.

An emergency situation requires an emergency response. It requires Climate Action Now!

ICAN aims to:
• Disrupt Australia’s party based political system by making climate change a non-partisan issue
• Provide additional voting options for the 60% of Australians who want ‘effective action on climate change – even if it costs us economically.’ (Lowy Institute 2018)
• Put major parties on notice that their climate policies do not reflect the science in terms of addressing the climate emergency
• Move the balance of power to a broad political block of climate action committed independents
• Raise the profile of the climate emergency amongst the Australian electorate
• Put our nation on a path toward collaborative international action that CAN avert climate catastrophe, and
• Provide our youth with hope for a viable future

While the costs and commitments needed to address the climate emergency are high, like many serious challenges it also has a silver lining in the opportunities it presents for investment, employment, nation building, technological innovation and societal progress.”

Jim Tait is an environmental scientist who specialises in freshwater ecosystems. During a 32 year career, Jim has worked for research organisations and in his own consultancy business to industry, government and community. He has also managed national scale assessments of Australia’s catchments, rivers, estuaries and biodiversity for the Australian government.

“We have the know how to solve the climate emergency. We just don’t have the political will. That’s why I stand for the Senate as an Independent for Climate Action Now. I’m passionate about Australia’s transformation to a zero emissions future. Addressing the climate emergency can create jobs, build communities, create new industries and save our future.”

~ Paul Wittwer, independent candidate and member of ICAN Victoria

“A climate emergency declaration is kind of like a restart button for us to go into the future.”
~ Kammy Cordner Hunt, scientist and candidate running for Independents for Climate Action Now, ICAN
#ClimateEmergency interview in Mitchell’s Front Page on 94.7 The Pulse: Kammy Cordner Hunt is running for Independents for Climate Action Now, ICAN, in the election for the Victorian Senate

→ ICAN’s climate policy platform:

→ ICAN’s home page:

→ ICAN’s Twitter account:

Think “Disruption”

Natasha Nero asked on Facebook in the Australian Parents for Climate Action group:

“Random question but with the election coming up, does anyone know which party has actually said they were going to make positive change for the climate/environment?

Please no harsh opinions this is not to divide us or create arguments on which party is best just more a question on what parties have promised (I also realize these promises are often broken) positive change.”

Mik Aidt replied:

“In my opinion we all need to vote for independents this time around. There is the ICAN alliance/party, and there are a group of independents supported by the youth ‘Climate Leaders’ group… Think of DISRUPTION as the key word now. The strongest things we voters can do in this election is to cause disruption and send a signal to those who think they will remain in power for ever that this is acutally not the case. Another powerful thing is to advocate for, promote and support the #GrandparentsGiveUsYourVote movement.

Parents could be doing the same: give your vote to your teenage child – in other words: ask which candidate/party he/she/they would like you to vote for, and then actually do it on 18 May.”

Grandfather to granddaughter: “I cast my vote for you”

Merging of two climate emergency-focused parties

Since 2013, Save the Planet party has been the only party in Australia running on an emergency speed transition to restore a safe climate as its number one issue. With the emergence of first the One Planet party and now ICAN, that’s no longer the case.

For the federal election in May 2019, ICAN managed to get the official party registration just before deadline, whereas they other two parties didn’t.

The rural focused party One Planet was launched in October 2018, founded by Mansfield business woman, former shire councillor and experienced political candidate and campaigner Kammy Cordner Hunt.

One Planet recently announced that they had joined the Melbourne-based party Save the Planet to focus on the issues of global warming, creating an alliance under the name One Planet, (Save Our One Planet Alliance) where each of the two parties maintain their current policies but share a set of goals and a constitution developed specifically for the purpose of the current federal election in Australia.

For the upcoming federal election, however, One Planet missed out on party registration by about two weeks. Kammy Cordner Hunt from One Planet has therefore instead decided to run as #2 on the ICAN Victorian Senate ticket for the lower house.

Save the Planet was founded in 2013 by Adrian Whitehead and focuses two key short-term objectives “to give us the best chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change and saving this planet, with a focus on maximum protection of human and non-human life.” The objectives are to drive the creation of Emergency Plans for Safe Climate Restoration, and to implement an Emergency Speed Transition (10 years or less) to a Safe Climate Economy.

Adrian Whitehead and Philip Sutton from Save the Planet party – in December 2014

Save the Planet’s policies fall into the following areas:
• Eliminating net emissions of greenhouse gases
• Returning to a safe climate (pre-industrial temperature and ocean heat and acidity)
• Emergency speed cooling to avoid current and near-term climate-related disasters.
• Preparing for climate change (that is not avoided)
• Creating a sustainable future​

“Outside of these core climate and sustainability related policies, Save the Planet strives to be politically neutral. Therefore, any decision made by an elected candidate would be made as a matter of conscience, while noting that these decisions must not conflict with our core climate policy in any way and must meet our “good character” test.”

“If we want to avoid a climate catastrophe, we must make global warming the primary election issue. Unlike any other party, Save the Planet’s number one issue is Global Warming and the solutions needed for a Safe Climate.”

Climate Democrats in New South Wales

2018 saw an unsuccessful attempt to raise support for a ‘Climate Democrats’ party based in Sydney, Australia.

“The Climate Democrats would be a party of the centre, whereas the Greens are on the Left – this means there is currently no party with adequate Climate Change policies for centrists – moderate conservatives especially, also those who are centre left. This sensible centre of the electorate see that voting 1 for Greens as voting too far to the ‘Left’.”

“Defeating climate change is job No. 1”

“We are out of time for waiting, debating and half-measures. America needs bold climate action now. And the only way we’re going to get it is if we elect a president who will make defeating climate change the No. 1 priority of the United States.

That is why I am running for president — because if defeating climate change isn’t job No. 1, it’s not going to get done. If elected, I will be the president who gets it done, just like I have as governor of Washington state, a state that is moving forward on building an economy run on clean energy…”

“…Fighting climate change can’t be somewhere down the page on a laundry list of things to do. It requires building a national mandate for bold and audacious action now and a full-scale mobilization of the federal government.

I’ve dedicated my life in public service to defeating climate change.” 

Jay Inslee, governor of Washington and a Democratic candidate for president, USA

→ CNN – 11 April 2019:
Climate change must be our No. 1 priority
“Jay Inslee writes that, if elected, he will be the president who fights climate change, just like he has fought it as governor of Washington state”