VoteClimate.org.au has released a detailed description of the climate policies of parties contesting the August 21 federal election. It is the world’s first dedicated climate election website and is run by climate activist Adrian Whitehead, a founder of Beyond Zero Emissions and a Target300.org campaigner.
The site, which includes links to each partiy’s policies, ranked the policies as following:
• Good (policies that might have a chance of stopping runaway climate change and adopt an emergency response) — the Socialist Alliance. The site said the emergency, public investment-driven plan developed by SA is “the first comprehensive climate emergency response of any party Vote Climate has seen”. SA advocates emissions cuts of at least 5% a year and supports a target of 100% renewable energy by 2020.
• Poor (policies that wont stop runaway climate change but have many positive elements that will help the adoption of a stronger response down the track) — The Greens and Democrats. The site said the Greens “advocate policy that, though stronger than Liberal or Labor, will not prevent a runaway climate change event”. The Greens advocate a 40% cut in emissions by 2020 and net zero emissions by 2050.
The site said the Democrats, who have “reasonable climate policies but not as strong as the Greens”, have removed all references to reduction targets.
Both the Greens and Democrats support government-designed mandatory emissions reductions.
• Very poor (policies that take only limited action which will not stop global warming reaching dangerous levels quickly) — Labor and Liberal. “Labor has chosen not to have a climate policy for the next term of government if they win this election ... There are no strong targets, no short term carbon price, no major public transport initiatives, no tackling of emissions from agriculture or forestry, no support for low income earners to pay for energy efficiency upgrades for their home.”
The site said “the Liberal’s climate policy more closely reflects a climate emergency response than Labor ... [but] it must be remembered this Liberal opposition and its leader are dominated by climate change deniers, who have ousted their former leader for supporting a price on carbon.”
The Liberals support a 5% emissions cut by 2020 from 1990 levels, Labor a 5% cut by 2020 from 2000 levels.
• Bad (policies that seek to delay action or deny there is a problem) — Family First, Christian Democratic Party, Climate Sceptics . These parties deny or throw doubt on the reality of human-driven climate change.