As the dust settles on the Federal election and Labor’s climate legislation passes both houses it is clear that this has been the first true ‘climate election’ – something I, and many others, have been calling for years. The final results saw great gains for the climate independents (from 4 to 10) and the greens (from 1 to 4) in the lower house and one new climate independent in the Senate. In the Senate the Greens and climate independent Pocock hold the balance of power. Less publicised has been the demise of a number of climate change deniers through retirement (Kevin Andrews) or defeat (Eric Abetz) although the LNP have still managed to introduce a few new climate troglodytes.
For those doubting the climate election the ABC noted that “according to the ABC’s Vote Compass, more people listed climate change as their most important issue this election than any other topic. Amazingly that was true not just overall, but in every single electorate in the country except for two — Longman and Flynn — where it was the second-most mentioned issue after cost of living.” Perhaps that alone helps explain the rise of ‘teals’ in safe liberal seats and the defeat of prominent party members – so called ‘Liberal moderates”.
But we must remember that all the powerful climate-denying lobbies still exist and are active, as is the poisonous filth emanating from the Murdoch media still attempting to dictate the agenda. The ALP too is in receipt of generous donations from the fossil fuel industry and appears to consider gas and fossil fuel exploration OK. A bipartisan approach on climate appears too much to hope for and the LNP (with one exception) have signalled their continued opposition by opposing Labors modest 43% bill.
With the State Election fast approaching, both major parties would do well to remember that the Climate Emergency is well and truly upon us, and business as usual no longer appropriate. At least one source indicates that the ALP could achieve their greenhouse emissions reductions target of 2030 simply by ceasing logging of our native forests now.