Statement from the Australian Conservation Foundation’s (ACF) Chief Executive Officer, Kelly O’Shanassy:
“ACF congratulates Anthony Albanese and the Labor Party on their election to government.
“The trends across the country show a majority of Australians care deeply for bolder climate action and integrity in politics – it is a huge win the environment, at a time when nature needs us most.
“Australians were frustrated by the Morrison government’s inert response to the urgent climate crisis, its reckless support for a ‘gas-led recovery’ and its attempts to water down already weak nature protection laws.
“A new government provides the opportunity for a re-set, a new start, a better way.
“Prime Minister-elect Anthony Albanese has said he wants climate action to be his legacy.
“He comes to office with a much more credible plan for cutting pollution than those of the Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison governments, but the electorate has delivered a mandate for stronger action.
“Labor has committed to cut climate pollution by 43% this decade. But we know the science demands the new government go further if we want to have a safe climate.
“Labor’s goal to have 82% of our electricity generated by renewables by 2030 is a step in the right direction, but the new government must reconsider its position on new coal and gas projects – it’s not what Australians want, nor what our environment needs.
“ACF encourages Mr Albanese to move quickly to give teeth to the safeguard mechanism – the Abbott-era policy that sets pollution caps and baselines to cut emissions by Australia’s biggest polluters – and to restore the role of the Climate Change Authority so it advises government with annual policy assessments measured against international developments.
“The Climate Change Authority’s role should be expanded to include a review of targets and a capacity to ratchet up targets in response to updated scientific information.
“Labor has backed goals to stop and reverse nature destruction by 2030 and voiced its support for stronger nature laws and a national Environment Protection Authority.
“The Morrison government lost this election partly because of its weaker climate policies. ACF urges the Coalition in opposition to meet the majority held view and move Australia towards a bipartisan approach to tackling the climate crisis.”