Three of the ten candidates standing for the Wills Federal electorate have signed the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) pledge: Samantha Ratnam (The Greens), Camille Sydow (Animal Justice Party) and Zane Alcorn (Socialist Alliance). This pledge is an undertaking that if elected they will:
- Support Clean Energy. Transitioning Australia to 100 percent clean energy.
- Cut Pollution. Moving to zero net climate pollution before 2050 and closing dirty coal burning power stations.
- Protect our reefs, rivers, forests and wildlife. Supporting a strong set of laws and institutions to improve biodiversity and regulate pollution.
Other candidates have taken away the pledge card to consider but have not yet committed. These include: Peter Khalil (Labor), Will Fulgenzi (Socialist Equality), Tristram Chellow (Sex Party).
This is an important pledge as it contains commitments to phase out polluting coal and increase renewable energy to 100 percent, to transition to a zero carbon economy before 2050, and to protect our forests, rivers and reefs. All these are essential if we are to meet out international climate commitments of the Paris Agreement.
ACF’s CEO Kelly O’Shanassy noted when issuing a recent ACF scorecard assessment of the main political parties, “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.
“The ALP’s and the Green’s policies on protecting nature and cutting pollution put them a long way ahead of the Coalition, but there is still room for improvement.
“A recent poll showed climate change is one of the top four issues for voters.
“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.”
See also the Abbott/Turnbull Government record on environment and climate action compiled by the Australian Conservation Foundation and posted at Sustainable Fawkner.