There have been some encouraging conclusions to draw from the 2022 federal election result, especially with regard to climate action.
"The results of the federal election were overwhelmingly that 2022 was, finally, the climate election," wrote veteran journalist Laura Tingle for the ABC.
It wasn't just that the independent candidates running on climate change made spectacular gains. There was also a swing to the Greens, gaining them two more seats in the House of Representatives and more Senate seats.
Even in the so-called "coal" seats like Hunter and Flynn, there was not a huge swing, as had been predicted, towards the Coalition because of fear of loss of coal jobs, but in fact, towards Labor. Given this encouraging news, it is appropriate to point out that the latest climate report is a call for urgent action.
Critical climate indicators broke records in 2021, according to the UN in a report issued last week. The UN World Meteorological Organization said these were clear signs of humanity's impact on the planet, which was bringing long-lasting effects such as droughts, fires and floods. It found the past seven years have been the hottest recorded.
"Today's State of the Climate report is a dismal litany of humanity's failure to tackle climate disruption. Fossil fuels are a dead end - environmentally and economically," said Antonio Guterres, the secretary general of the UN.
"The only sustainable future is a renewable one. The good news is that wind and solar are readily available and, in most cases, cheaper than coal and other fossil fuels," he said.
It is clear that climate change sharpened as a central issue this federal election.
Guterres's warnings were echoed in Australia by five medical colleges from across Australia and New Zealand, with more than 56,000 members, who have written to federal, state and territory leaders and energy companies calling for Australia to replace coal power by 2030.
Dr Karen Price, president of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, said, "Pollution from Australian coal-burning power stations was recently estimated to kill 785 people every year, as well as causing 14,434 instances of children experiencing asthma symptoms and 845 babies to be born with low birth weight."
This election, more people listed climate change as their number one issue, according to ABC's Vote Compass. It is clear that climate change sharpened as a central issue this federal election.
So, what is the situation now that we have a new Labor government? Labor set an "emissions target that falls short of Paris climate targets, while the Greens and most "teal" independents offer policies compatible with 1.5C of warming", noted the ABC.
Modelling commissioned by Labor suggests the policies will meet the emissions target and create jobs. It also suggests it will lower power bills, something the Coalition has disputed.
However, according to Climate Analytics, Labor's 2030 target is consistent with 2C of warming, which would breach the Paris Agreement, in which Australia promised to keep warming "well below" 2C.
So, negotiating Labor's climate policies through the House of Representatives will not be easy, given the number of 'teals' MPs elected, and the increased Green representation.
Also, given that Labor doesn't control the Senate, it will have to undertake some serious negotiating with the Greens, who hold the balance of power in that chamber.
The Greens have a comprehensive climate policy backing targets in line with what scientists say is needed to do our fair share of stopping warming at 1.5C, such as a 75 per cent cut in emissions by 2030. The party also has a policy to immediately stop the approval of new coal, oil and gas infrastructure and also want to end the export of thermal coal by 2030 and stop oil and gas exports by 2035.
"Greens leader Adam Bandt said the party would push Mr Albanese for faster climate action," advised The New Daily.
Mr Bandt said: "Voters have made it clear they want the Greens to push the Albanese government to go further and faster on climate change and inequality".
As The Saturday Paper reported, "Bandt said the Greens surge creates a mandate to end development of new fossil fuel projects in Australia".
So, to get any action on climate through Parliament, Labor will need to listen, and act appropriately.
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