Election to determine climate action for next decade
Posted 12 Apr 2019 03:00PM
This election has the potential to determine the course of climate action in Australia for the next decade.
And polling shows that climate change is now a vote-deciding issue: the majority of Australians want climate change action, and support renewable energy.
Momentum is building and now is the time to capitalise on it.
We’ve been working to translate our mission into a plan we can action together. Not just over the next few weeks, but into the future. Because our independence is fundamental to holding any government that leads Australia to account, informing Australians and pushing for meaningful action on climate change.
So, what are the most important things we can do together, in the lead up to the federal election and beyond? We’ll be working hard to:
1. Elevate the story
Headlines matter. The news fuels debate and shapes public opinion. It sets the tone for the national conversation. And the national conversation determines how elections are decided, governments are judged, and history is written. That’s why it’s crucial we keep the drumbeat of media coverage on climate change and solutions.
We have a number of critical interventions planned to keep climate change on the agenda during the election. On Wednesday, we launched a new initiative bringing together 23 former senior fire and emergency services leaders from across Australia, to call for urgent action on climate change. It received fantastic coverage right across the media and we launched a hard-hitting ad in The Age. The group is called Emergency Leaders for Climate Action and you can find out more about it here.
2. Arm people against misinformation
If the past few months are anything to go by, there’s sure to be a lot of spin throughout the election campaign, particularly when it comes to climate change impacts and solutions. And sometimes it can be difficult to know where to begin sorting the wheat from the chaff. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back.
Knowledge is power. The best way we can fight back against misinformation is with facts. When myths about climate change and energy are injected into the national conversation, it’s often by people who think they can pull the wool over the public’s eyes. But if enough of us are armed with the facts, these lies can’t take hold.
That’s why every climate conversation you have is important. Every time you use our mythbusting guides, or share one of our reports, fact sheets, or videos, it arms yet another person with the truth. Together, we’re building an army of people who can shut down naysayers, from the pub to the office - and cast an informed vote when it comes time to front up to the ballot box.
3. Choose tangible action
Whilst it’s vital we continue to push for action at the federal level, we also know that we just have to get on with it, even if that means taking action into our own hands.
This is exactly what our Cities Power Partnership is doing. Over 100 councils, representing almost 11 million Australians, are now reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and increasing their uptake of renewables, thanks to your help. You can find out more about the Cities Power Partnership here.
4. Keep the big picture in sight
Politicians and political parties are often accused of only playing to the next election. But climate change is much bigger than one election, or one government. The Climate Council sits outside of political terms and ambitions. We care about facts, science, information - and action that reflects it.
That means that while this election is pivotal, we’re not losing sight of the longer-term challenge.
And crucially, we need action from every industry and part of society. So we’ve got some big projects planned to do just this. We’ll bring together experts from across the board to work on these issues and the challenges they bring.
As always, we’ll be ready to swing into gear to rapidly respond to news stories and events as they emerge. But, we’ll also be proactively setting the agenda, making sure the issues that deserve front pages get proper airtime and attention. These issues include:
- Extreme weather, including the impacts of climate change on drought, heat, and bushfires
- Solutions: pushing for no new coal, more renewables, increased energy efficiency and cutting emissions from the transport sector
- The enormous economic, personal and environmental costs of coping with climate change, including how climate change is impacting our health
5. Hold the Government to account
It’s our independence that makes us a powerful and trustworthy voice - and our independence comes from you.
Whatever you can do to make this a climate election - contributing a donation to fund our work, sharing an article, engaging in conversation about climate change, writing to your MP, writing a letter to the editor - it all counts.
You can be a voice for science and reason, wherever you find yourself. But just remember you’re not alone. When all our voices come together in unison, we are a resounding chorus, singing to the same tune for a better future, this election and beyond.
Climate Council CEO