Australia’s climate champions have spoken: now it’s time for Labor to step up

AUSTRALIANS who care deeply about climate change have spoken loud and clear this election, with a clarion call for the incoming Labor Government to step up to the biggest challenge and opportunity that our country faces.

CEO of the Climate Council, Amanda McKenzie, said:

“Climate concerned voters in the cities, suburbs and regions of Australia had unleashed their fury and frustration at almost a decade of climate inaction at a federal level.

“Over almost nine years’ in office, the Liberal-National Government’s approach to climate action ranged from inadequate to non-existent. Australians are paying a heavy price for that, and they have made their feelings known.

“Mr Morrison’s time as Prime Minister was bookended by two climate-fuelled disasters – first fires, then floods – that brought home to many of us exactly what is at stake.

“Currently, we’re on a course to climate catastrophe. That requires a sharp correction. Australians deserve a federal government that recognises the scale of the challenge before us, and the pace of action that’s required. We can not afford to waste a single more day.

“Australia now has an opportunity to repair its damaged reputation on climate on the world stage. We expect our incoming Prime Minister will demonstrate that we are ready to show decisive leadership on climate, starting at next week’s Quad meeting in Japan.”

Candidates who were championing strong climate action performed well across the country, including (but not limited to):

  • Victoria: Independent Helen Haines in Indi; Independent Monique Ryan in Kooyong; and Independent Zoe Daniel in Goldstein.
  • Queensland: Greens members Elizabeth Watson-Brown in Ryan and Max Chandler-Mather in Griffith.
  • New South Wales: Independent Kylea Tink in North Sydney; Independent Sophie Scamps in Mackellar; Independent Zali Steggall in Warringah; LNP’s Andrew Constance in Gilmore and ALP’s Kristy McBain in Eden-Monaro.
  • Australian Capital Territory: Independent David Pocock for the Senate.

In many other electorates, there were swings toward candidates and parties with credible climate policies and away from those without them. For example, strong swings towards Greens candidates in the QLD electorates of Brisbane and Dickson and independent candidates in SA’s Boothby, NSW’s Cowper and VIC’s Nicholls.

Ms McKenzie added it was in Australia’s economic and security interests to prioritise climate action, which could deliver widespread benefits to communities all over the country.

“Australians have been very clear on what they want: decisive climate action this decade. We are one of the sunniest and windiest countries on earth – the opportunities and advantages we have are off the charts. But only if we grasp them, and fast. Forget half-arsed efforts or platitudes. It’s time for Australia to step up, and get on with it.

“All Australians will be watching to make sure this is done. The Climate Council will be with them every step of the way, keeping this new Labor Government accountable for delivering climate action now.”

The Climate Council is calling on the incoming Federal Government to:

1. Turn Australia into a climate leader

2. Prepare Australia for worsening extreme weather

3. Improve existing energy policies

4. End government support for fossil fuel expansion

5. Strengthen transparency and accountability

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