Article by Lucy Jones
The upcoming Australian federal election offers an incredible opportunity for climate action.
So far, this campaign has seen both major parties refuse to set science-based climate targets, while continuing to back coal and gas into the future. Australians want better, and they will be voting for it on May 21. The latest Vote Compass figures show climate change is the number one issue for voters, with 60 per cent believing “much more” must be done to cut emissions.
Despite these stats, the Liberal and Labor parties have responded to the push for stronger climate action by avoiding the topic entirely. Climate change has taken a back seat to other issues this election, with cost of living, housing, health care and defence dominating debates. We’ve also seen Labor soften its stance on climate by lowering its emissions reduction target by 2 per cent and coming out in support of the continued use of fossil fuels.
Thankfully, there are other options, with independents across Australia stepping up this election to fill the climate void left by the major parties. Grassroots community groups known as “voices of” or “voices for” have emerged around the country, rural independents are challenging the Nationals in regional areas and a cohort of Climate 200–backed candidates are campaigning for key inner-city seats. The one commonality between these groups: stronger action on climate change…