NFP Rates Political Parties’ Enviro Policies
31 May 2016 at 10:05 am
The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) has delivered an election scorecard rating the major political parties’ environmental policies out of 100 points and has given the Liberal/National coalition a score of 11, Labor 53 and the Greens 77.
“The politicians who want to lead the country must have real plans to protect people, rivers, reefs, forests and wildlife for the future,”ACF CEO Kelly O’Shanassy said.
“The Liberal/National’s 11 out of 100 on the environment is woefully inadequate. If they are not prepared to lead on climate and nature, they are not fit to lead the country.
“It’s not as if conservatives can’t be good conservationists – Liberal cabinet minister Garfield Barwick was ACF’s first president; Robert Menzies signed the first Antarctic Treaty; Malcolm Fraser made Kakadu a national park; John Howard established the National Greenhouse Inventory and the National Water Initiative.”
O’Shanassy said the ALP and the Green’s policies on protecting nature and cutting pollution put them a long way ahead of the Coalition, but there was still room for improvement.
“A recent poll showed climate change is one of the top four issues for voters,” she said.
“This year’s mass bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef is a stark reminder that climate change is hitting Australia hard, and we must get out of the coal business quickly.
“That means phasing out Australia’s coal fired power stations, turbo-boosting clean energy, helping affected communities with the transition and definitely not approving any new coal mines.
“With a whole month still to go before polling day, there is time for all parties to improve their scores.”
On Monday the Labor Party pledged to create a $500 million fund to help protect the Great Barrier Reef through research and environmental programs after a survey showed more coral bleaching north of Cairns.
The Coalition has already promised an additional $171 million over six years in the federal budget towards saving the reef and the Greens pledged a reef plan which included $1 billion to help coal workers exit the industry.
It comes as The Australia Institute has issued a report which includes polling indicating that 71 per cent of Australians would consider voting for a party that supported distributed small-scale solar and storage.
Securing Renewables: How Batteries Solve the Problem of Clean Electricity is based on a national opinion poll of 1,412 people undertaken between February and March 2016.
The study also found 63 per cent of respondents would be more likely to support a party that aims to transition to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030.