We’ve known about the climate crisis for 30 years, yet not one of the elections that have occured in the last three decades have had climate change as the theme that decided who’d be voted in. On the federal election in Australia on 18 May 2019, it looks as if this could change. As this blogpost will show you, there are many signs that this is going to be a #ClimateElection.
Comprehensive #ClimateElection scorecard→ Read more on www.precariousclimate.com
In doubt about who to vote for? Take this advice: think disruption. In today’s politics of fossil-funded mass confusion and manipulation, it is Disruption versus Destruction: Either Australian voters manage to send a very strong signal to Canberra that the calm days of “business as usual” are over, or we are in for more of the same ignorance and calculated destruction of ecosystems and the risk of destroying the future for our own children, as we have seen with rising carbon emissions ever since the Coalition won the election in 2013. What the parliamentarians need now is a knock where it hurts. So when you vote, think disruption.
If you agree with the Greens, you should definitely vote for them. They have understood the threat of the climate emergency and have policies that will help manage this situation.
However, if you only agree with the Greens on climate policy, but fundamentally disagree with them on other matters, then vote for an independent candidate with a climate emergency plan.
In that case, the first thing you need to do is to check this list of candidates who have signed the Climate Emergency Declaration.
#GrandparentGiveMeYourVote – #GiveTheKidsYourVote
If still in doubt, do the best thing any voter in 2019 can do: Give your vote to a teenager you trust and love. Someone who is too young to vote yet, but who’s fully aware of what is going on in Australian politics. As you will learn, this is most likely the most disruptive vote you could be giving.
How is this done? It is not about you and the teenager going to the polls on election day together. It is simply about you asking the teenager to find out who she or he would vote for if she/he had that possibility, and then in the polling booth, you actually vote for that candidate or party.
This should be a private, personal and confidential matter between you and the teenager you gave your vote to.
. . .
Election conversation tips: “Stopping the boats”?
The border protection debate is flawed and manipulated because it fails to talk about what is happening around Australia as a result of climate change.
Scott Morrisson claims his government will “stop the boats”, whereas in reality his carbon-ignorant policies are creating climate havoc that again is creating new refugees looking for a place to go.
The climate disruption which Scott Morrisson and his mates in the fossil fuel industry willfully are bringing onto the world’s poorer nations and future generations, because they go for short-term profits instead of responsibly looking at the devastating losses these gains are causing to others, needs to be stopped.
“But the calamity is already happening, so we need to “stop the boats” more than ever now,” Morrison would argue. That’s a distraction. It can never be an argument for turning the blind eye to that Australia’s immoral and selfish climate inaction is making the situation worse.
We need to stop the climate breakdown, and we must demand our government will lead in defence of our nation AS WELL AS our planet, just as the British government decided to do it after a five hour long debate in the House of Commons last week – a debate which resulted in the bipartisan declaration of a national climate emergency.
Australia needs a new government which is as concerned about our climate safety as they are about our road safety. That will only happen if you – and those you convince – vote for a party or an independent with a proper climate emergency plan in place.
“Liberals or Labor?”
We are currently receiving lots of questions in our mailbox about how to vote at the federal election. Thank you for that!
Here’s a question from a resident in Ocean Grove:
“A friend of mine is trying to convince me that the Liberals are OK to vote for, because even Damien Cole has not set a preference. Is this true? Usual voters don’t see that even though Labor are not great, they are better than the Liberals. What should I tell my friend?”
Reply: Watch the Dirty Power video
We asked a similar question in The Sustainable Hour this Wednesday, concerning Labor – because they policies are not easy to figure out, on one side they want to put billions of taxpayers money into gas production, to please that industry, but on the other side we’ve seen people like Midnight Oil singer and former minister Peter Garrett, who we perceive as a man of integrity and who has a high level of credibility, give Labor strong support and “climate credit” in a video in social media. (Link below)
If you wish to talk with anyone about whether to vote for the Liberal party, first show them – or insist on that they watch – this video:
The video documents and explains quite well that a vote for the Liberal is a vote for the coal/gas-industry. So if you don’t like what is happening to our climate and the rest, don’t vote for them. Simple.
→ More on act.gp/dirtypower
→ Also, there’s a series of good documentary videos from the Climate Council, like this one
→ Even the former Liberals leader John Hewson is speaking out against these climate-criminals who have hijacked the Liberal party
→ More about Labor on AUSTRALIA’S LABOR PARTY STILL IMMERSED IN GAS AND COAL
→ This guide from Climate Council is essential, and it has credibility
→ Labor: “Peter Garrett knows there’s only one party who is taking climate change seriously, and that’s Labor. The cost of inaction on climate change far outweighs the cost of action. We can’t afford to wait another 3 years to act.”
→ Peter Garrett urges Bill Shorten to declare climate emergency if Labor wins . . .
Below follows a social media collage of #ClimateElection perspectives which will give you some insights and inspiration.
What we can expect from different parties
The Liberal Party is promising a focus on lower power bills and a climate solutions fund targeted at farmers, small businesses and indigenous communities. It also hopes to help households and business with energy efficiency.
The Nationals want to meet the challenges of climate change, including a community environment fund and a commitment to regional infrastructure.
The Labor Party has a neighbourhood renewables program and support for solar, batteries, electric vehicles, bioenergy and grid modernisation.
The Greens support a public renewable energy retailer, public and active transport, an electric vehicle revolution and a just transition for fossil fuel workers.
The independent candidates have already been heavily involved in community energy, like Adam Blakester and the outgoing member for Helen Haines for Indi. Many are open minded as they learn about issues and opportunities.
There are a number of excellent climate-action candidates running as part of the Climate Leaders election platform – some in high profile seats such as Zali Steggall running against Toby Abbott in Waringah and Oliver Yates running against Josh Frydenberg in Kooyong. They also include Kerryn Phelps running again in Wentworth and Damien Cole running in the highly marginal seat of Corangamite in the Geelong region of Victoria.
Independents: Action on the climate emergency
Australia has a new ‘climate emergency party’, which is an alliance and a platform for independent candidates: ‘Independent for Climate Action Now’
A climate party in a climate election
Peter Gardner, a member and supporter of ICAN, wrote:
“One would hope that history does not repeat itself and that political advances in the cause of climate science are made over time. Since the first climate election in 2007 there have been four attempts at forming a single issue climate party, each of which in turn I have been a member. Last Thursday on the day the election was called the Independents for Climate Action Now (ICAN) was registered by the Australian Electoral Commission. I wish ICAN well and am aware that just by being registered is a boost to climate action and a big step towards making 2019 the second climate election in Australia.
In 2007 when Kevin Rudd called climate change “the greatest moral challenge of our generation” there was an ambitious single issue climate party on the hustings. As far as I am aware the Climate Change Coalition (CCC) was the first climate party in Australia and they had several high profile Senate candidates including current Sydney mayor Clover Moore and the media ‘science guru’ Dr Karl Kruszelnicki. The CCC was interestingly a party of independents grouping around what still is the greatest challenge of our generation (or any generation for that matter). In their optimistic quest for Senate seats the CCC did some shonky preference deals. They were then swamped in the ‘ruddslide’, all their candidates lost their deposits, and the organisation disappeared soon after.
In 2016 the Renewable Energy Party was registered by the AEC one month before Turnbull called the election. Like the CCC the REP were overoptimistic in their chances and concentrated on the Senate. Their attempts at crowdfunding failed and they made no impression whatsoever on the mainstream media. Senate candidates are very hard to find on ballot papers the size of tablecloths and like the CCC all their candidates lost their deposits. After a year of no activity the REP was deregistered.
Now ICAN is registered on the day the election is called. It would appear that they too will be concentrating on the Senate and have hopes for substantial crowdfunding – all shades of the REP. More worrying still for ICAN is that the polls indicate there is a distinct possibility of another ‘ruddslide’ and they have an enormous struggle in getting any traction in the media in such a short time – just over 5 weeks.
But things are a bit different now. The science has firmed and measurements of data confirm earlier predictions – in many cases the predictions have been understatements. Global warming is starting to affect, and be noticed, by us all – especially during heatwaves, bushfires and droughts. The majority accept this and a substantial minority – especially in some conservative held city seats – consider climate change in the top three issues that concern them. Whilst ICAN will be extremely lucky to get a candidate up it is quite possible that one or more climate independents will get elected in the lower house.
Even assuming the ‘ruddslide’ and a substantial ALP majority the task before us is still enormous and we can only hope that ICAN will not, like its predecessors, be a one election flop. The ALP, whilst light years ahead of the troglodytic incumbents on climate change, is still part of the ‘status quo’. Think Adani for instance. It essential that ICAN factor in worse case possibilities for the 2019 election and plan beyond that to the next one. I have no doubt that future ‘climate elections’ will follow in quick succession. And hopefully all elections from now on will be climate elections.”
ACF’s Climate Leadership Agreement
“If elected, Independent MPs in the Australian Parliament agree to collaborate to achieve meaningful action on climate change.
We, the undersigned, are standing as independent candidates at the 2019 federal election.
We come from different parts of Australia, and different political backgrounds, but are united by a desire to represent the long term public interest of Australia and best interests of our local communities.
We recognise that to be a true servant of our communities and our national parliament, we must demonstrate and deliver strong leadership on climate change.
The evidence of dangerous climate change is well-established and beyond doubt. Climate change is a real and present threat to the safety and security of the people and places we care about, as well as the national economy.
Extreme weather events, loss of native species, landscape changes, and sea-level rise are all now driving increased mitigation and adaptation costs on government and business, a loss of investment opportunity, lack of economic certainty, and damaging our future standard of living and health of our country.
The solutions to climate change are key to our nation’s, and planet’s, future prosperity. Private investment depends on policy certainty. Government Industry Policy is at its best when promoting new job markets, not protecting declining ones, and supporting just transitions. In our regions and for people on the land, climate leadership can deliver healthier soils, secure clean water, and stewardship of our native plants and animals.
If elected at the upcoming federal election, we agree to work together and with other parliamentarians, to:
- Oppose the opening up of the thermal coal basin in the Galilee Basin in Queensland, one of the largest coal reserves on the planet, for mining. This includes opposing the development of the proposed Adani coal mine. If proposed projects were allowed, full production of the Galilee Basin would double Australia’s coal exports to 600 million tonnes, significantly contributing to global climate change.
- Reinvigorate and restore funding to the national Climate Change Authority to be the independent, credible science-based advisory body it was originally intended to be;
- Exceed Australia’s Paris Agreement emissions reduction target. Ensure Kyoto Protocol carryover credits are not used to meet the 2030 target.
- Develop a roadmap to power Australia from 100 per cent renewable energy, aiming to achieve at least 50 per cent by 2030;
- Support policies and legislation that prioritise climate change as progressive industry policy supporting investment and embedding benefits for Australians and their environment. This includes investment in clean energy, clean transport, healthier and biodiverse land carbon sinks and jobs;
- Oppose attempts to commit public money to new or existing coal or other fossil fuel operations, including any government underwriting of coal or gas power plants. Enhance transparency of environmental approvals, particularly those related to water and habitats vital for wildlife and people.
- Embed climate change into industry, economic, health and environment policy and law so that action to support Australians cut pollution and adapt to climate change becomes a central objective of government;
- Increase funding for, and protection of, threatened and native species and habitat;
- Work with farmers and other land managers to reduce invasive species, and prioritise the climate change and biodiversity benefits of soil, land, forest, and water management;
- Make climate change a key focus of Australia’s international aid program and ensure all of Australia’s overseas financing activities are consistent with the aims and objectives of the Paris Agreement.
We recognise this is not an exhaustive list of actions we could take, but it represents a starting point towards making the Australian Parliament a greater force for responsible and effective climate action.
Andrew Wilkie MP, Member for Clark
Kerryn Phelps MP, Member for Wentworth
Julia Banks MP, Member for Chisholm, Independent candidate for Flinders
Dr Helen Haines, Independent candidate for Indi
Zali Steggall, Independent candidate for Warringah
Rob Oakeshott, Independent candidate for Cowper
Oliver Yates, Independent candidate for Kooyong
Damien Cole, Independent candidate for Corangamite
Alice Thompson, Independent for Mackellar
Arthur Chesterfield-Evans, Independent for North Sydney
Huw Kingston, Independent for Hume
Jason Modica, Independent candidate for Mallee
An initiative of the Australian Conservation Foundation, 1 May 2019.”
→ The document is continuously updated here
→ ABC News – 17 April 2019:
How the federal election will change Australia’s response to climate change
“Climate change is already a key issue in this campaign after featuring heavily in the Victorian state election and the Wentworth by-election, which stripped the Coalition of its majority.”
“If those in power do not respond to recent protests, they risk losing a generation of voters not prepared to accept a future decided by politicians many of whom will, by the time the scientists’ predictions come true, be dead.”Editorial in The Guardian
“Our politicians have lost sight of the big picture”
“Heading into this election, it seems our politicians have lost sight of the big picture. Rather than coming up with a bold and brave plan to tackle the climate crisis, they are pandering to corporate interests, succumbing to fear and focusing on minuscule policy changes in an attempt to win a handful more votes. Our politicians are acting as though there isn’t a climate crisis going on at all.
If you agree that climate change is the biggest threat to everything we care about, then join us next Friday 3 May 2019 to demand the political action we deserve. There are almost 60 events taking place across the country and almost 500 worldwide.”
~ The school strikers 4 climate action
Corangamite is the most marginal seat in Australia. Will the Liberals keep the seat? This is what the polls say that the moment:
Newspoll on 29 April: “1.4% swing to Labor. Labor would gain Corangamite with a margin of 1.37%.”
Ipsos on 5 April: “3.36% swing to Labor. Labor would gain Corangamite with a margin of 3.33%.”
ReachTel on 19 April (seat poll): “1.97% swing to Liberal. Liberal would retain Corangamite with a margin of 2%.”
If you live in Corangamite (Geelong), you should listen to the Candidates Forum for Corangamite which was held at 94.7 The Pulse radio station in Geelong on Tuesday 30 April 2019.
The photo in the Facebook post is of #ExtinctionRebellionGeelong – climatesafety-champions and extinction-rebels Monica Winston with Caroline Danaher and Abigail Elder – who you can listen to and meet in person at the 1 May “MayDay” #ClimateElection event at Beav’s Bar in Lt Malop Street, Geelong at 5:30pm.
Candidates who participated in the forum and podcast were: Libby Coker, Labor – Simon Northeast, The Greens – Naomi Adams, Animal Justice Party – Damien Cole, Independent – Sarah Henderson, Liberal
A look at the major parties’ climate policies
The major parties — the Nationals, the Liberals, Labor and the Greens — are offering significantly different policies on how to deal with climate change, reported the ABC.
→ TripleJ – 16 April 2019:
Where do the parties stand on climate change and the environment?
“The word that springs to mind when you think about climate policy right now is ‘division’.”
“There is no leadership”
“Politicians wont tell the truth. There is no leadership. If there was we would not be in this mess. I am planning on telling Sarah Henderson that l will have to get forcefully removed if she will not watch Greta’s speech to the EU parliament. Maybe l need David Attenborough as well.
Every one needs to visit their own MP on May 3rd. Even the good ones, because they must push the others into line. If you have no school children at yours then all the more reason to be at your own office. Please think about this. This is once in a lifetime, indeed extinction time, so go do. Go well.”
~ Caroline Danaher
Clean Energy Council‘s take on the federal election 2019
“Australian energy policy is at a crossroads and it is critical that all sides of politics commit to strong, sensible and enduring clean energy policy for the next term of government and beyond.
The absence of any long-term energy strategy at the federal level is crippling the Australian energy sector and increasing power prices for consumers. Despite the lack of federal leadership, the clean energy industry had a record-breaking year in 2018.
Imagine what we could achieve if this momentum continues. We cannot let this momentum stop.
This Federal Election we are calling on all federal political parties to adopt our policy recommendations. You can help us by adding your voice to our campaign by contacting your MP and sharing our social media tiles.”→ Read more on www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au
“Will you sign the #ClimateElection petition?”
“In just over a month, our country will head to the polls.Like you, we believe in a world free from poverty and hunger, in which everyone can thrive and claim their right to a better life. But right now coal-burning companies and politicians who side with them are causing climate chaos. They are undermining communities’ land and homes, and their ability to source food and clean water. Australia’s next government must step up to stop climate damage. Together we must make this the climate election. Oxfam supporters around the country are meeting with their local candidates from across party lines to hold them accountable. They’ll be taking this petition with them. Add your name and together we can make our voices heard.”
“Put simply, the climate crisis has already arrived. And it’s getting worse. Fast. Today, thousands of families across southern Africa are working hard to rebuild their lives after Cyclone Idai – a disaster made worse by climate change. Meanwhile, families in the Torres Strait Islands and in Kiribati are standing up to save their islands as rising seas swallow land and homes. And across Australia, communities are hurting from a record-breaking summer of extreme heat, bushfires, drought and floods. It’s time for courage and action. And the good news – the solutions are here, now. Australia, with its abundant renewable energy sources, has everything it needs to play its part in limiting warming to 1.5C while ensuring a prosperous future for all Australians and our neighbours. But right now, the world at large is leaving us for dust.
It’s time to turn this around.
Will you be a climate voter?
We know that the vast majority of Australians are looking for real action and leadership. From the inspiring school strikers to Indigenous communities fighting for climate justice and to protect country. So, let’s get on with it! Australia’s next government must step up to stop climate damage. It’s time to move beyond coal, to shift Australia to 100% renewable energy, and to ramp up support to vulnerable communities in our region and beyond. Which is why Oxfam supporters around the country are meeting with their local candidates to hold them accountable. They’ll be taking this petition with them. Add your name and together we can make our voices heard.
This is the biggest challenge of our times and in the fight against hunger and poverty. We have never had a bigger opportunity to make a difference. It’s time to demand the future we want, and that we know is possible.
Simon, Jess, Tom and the rest of the team
PS: Many Pacific Island countries are already on the path to 100% renewable energy. Their message is simple – if they can do it, so can we!
Be a climate voter.”
Community energy questions
you could ask local candidates
Do you agree with the aims of more renewable energy, faster transition, community benefits and energy system models to support a better, fairer system?
How will you support our community energy sector at a national level?
What steps will you take to create better conditions for community energy in our city?
How will you make sure that high level commitments translate into support for our local community energy initiatives?
What is one thing you will do to improve the understanding of community energy within your party and the government?
Geelong Green Drinks: People Power & the Climate Election
Wednesday 1 May 2019 at 5:30-7:30pm at Beav’s Bar, 77 Lt Malop St, in Geelong
Mayday, Mayday! Our hottest summer ever – filled with devastating extreme weather events and environmental disasters – has awoken the nation. We are in a #ClimateEmergency! We have reached ecological and social tipping points – the upcoming federal election will be the #ClimateElection.
Come along and be inspired by local #Fridaysforfuture campaigners: Caroline, Abigail and Maria and the recent global action by students in the #SchoolStrike4Climate.
Climate and environment policy documents
Both the ALP and The Greens have comprehensive policy documents out. Here is a very brief overview and links to the Policy Brief PDFs.
The Opposition Labor Party is ahead in the polls and has pledged:
- to raise Australia’s current Paris Target from 26-28% by 2030 on 2005 levels (including controversial use of Kyoto carryover credits to meet this target) to 45% by 2030 on 2005 (without use of Kyoto carryover credits),
- 50 percent renewables by 2030.
- Kickstarting Australia’s hydrogen economy with a $1 billion National Hydrogen Plan
This would put Australia on the path of deep decarbonisation aim of net zero emissions by 2050, but really it is the very minimum for proper decarbonisation.
→ Labor’s climate action policy paper
Opposition and Labor leader Bill Shorten wrote in a newsletter:
“For too many years, Australia has suffered with chaos, uncertainty and rising pollution under the Liberals. Australians need stability and certainty on climate change policy. That’s why I’ve just announced Labor’s Climate Change Action Plan.
Labor’s Climate Change Action Plan will reduce pollution, invest in renewable energy and take real action on climate change – to ensure we hand on a better deal to the next generation. Here’s how we’ll make it happen.
- Invest in renewable energy and batteries to grow jobs and cut power bills;
- Boost clean transport and infrastructure;
- Work in partnership with business to help bring down pollution;
- Support trade exposed industries to keep Australian businesses competitive; and
- Help the land sector to cut pollution while giving farmers and the forestry industry new opportunities to earn income.
We need your help to spread the word about this important announcement. Ignoring climate change is simply not an answer.
Our plan has been developed in consultation with industry and experts, and it builds on already announced policies like our energy plan and hydrogen plan.
It’s a good plan for families, for industry – and for the planet.
While the Liberal and National parties are full of climate sceptics and hopelessly divided on climate change, only Labor is serious about real action on climate change. That’s because we’re determined to pass on a better deal to the next generation.
The Liberals have helped push up power prices by having 13 different energy policies, undermining investment in renewable energy, supporting taxpayer money for new coal plants and backing power privatisation.
With your support, we can deliver a climate policy which will take real action on climate change, protect jobs and grow the economy.”
The Greens would like to see:
- Australia’s 2030 Paris target lifted to 63-82 percent to track to a 2040 net zero emissions target
- Complete phaseout of thermal coal by 2030, including thermal coal export. (Note: metallurgical coal makes up about 60% by value of Australia’s coal exports)
- Establish a $1.7 billion Clean Energy Export Development Fund to develop renewable ‘export fuels’: solar and wind energy via HVDC marine cable to Asia, and hydrogen for export.
→ SBS / AAP – 5 May 2019:
Greens urge climate emergency declaration
“The Greens will push the Australian parliament to declare a “climate emergency” after the federal election, party leader Richard Di Natale says”
Liberal Party Environment Policy
The Nationals have a very brief and limited climate policy:
Where is the “Climate Conservatives” party?
A “true conservative” in the US
Tea Party leader takes a stand for solar energy: ‘I will do what’s right’
Debbie Dooley, founder of the Green Tea Party, strongly believes “conservation is a conservative value”.
Debbie Dooley is a self-described ‘crusader’ for solar power in Florida, where she is up against major public power utilities. But she has already won a similar battle in Georgia, and she says her message is that of a “true conservative”.
→ The Guardian
Eco-pragmatism: The skill of figuring out
how to turn destructive loops into forces for good
Win-win solutions for the environment and the economy aren’t just practical, they may be our only politically viable way out of this mess, argues Nicky Case, using interactive models to explain why we need to “get out of the environment-versus-economy mindset, and realize there’s a plethora of win-win possibilities in the short-term, medium-term, and long-term.”
→ Read his blogpost on blog.ncase.me/environment-economy
Pledge to #Vote1.5 for climate action
“I pledge to use my vote to make climate change the #1 issue of the federal election.”
This is a climate emergency.
The start of this year was the hottest on record. Debilitating heatwaves across the entire country, record drought, unprecedented flooding in Townsville and bushfires raging across 200,000 hectares in Tasmania.
The urgency for acting on the climate emergency could not be any clearer.
Burning dirty fuels causes climate change, and climate change means more extreme weather. It means longer droughts , more intense heatwaves, and more dangerous bushfires. At the same time, our government still wants to open up the Galilee Basin, one of the world’s largest untapped coal reserves. Australia is the largest exporter of coal in the world – we are actively adding fuel to the fire.
The world’s scientists have told us we must keep global warming to 1.5 degrees to protect our civilisation. Every single candidate across the country needs to show they will push for real climate action in Parliament by announcing a commitment to:
Stop Adani. Stop all new fossil fuel projects. Transition Australia to 100% renewable energy by 2030.
You can also get involved with the Vote #1.5 campaign by signing up to organise a candidate meeting to discuss climate action or run a climate conversation doorknock in your community.