You’ve probably heard by now that the 2016 Federal Election is set to take place on Saturday June 2. And if you hadn’t heard, no doubt you will be bombarded with campaign messages from the major parties soon enough.
As always, both the Labor and Liberal parties will do their best to convince the country why their plan for Australia is best – and of course, why their opponents’ is not. Who you decide to vote for (assuming you’re choosing between the two big parties) will come down to a mix of personal preference and prejudice.
But since you’re reading this blog, we’re going to bet that the environment, climate change and investment in renewable energy rank highly on your priority list.
So here’s a quick summary of what the Australian Labor Party and Liberal Party of Australia have to say about these important topics.
Perhaps the biggest environmental headline from the ALP is this: 50% Renewable Energy by 2030.
Labor details its plan for an overhaul of Australia’s renewable energy scene. As part of their pitch, they uncover how Australia’s potential for renewable energy generation is 500 times greater than current power generation capacity – not to mention the huge progress countries like China, America and many European nations have made in recent times.
Labor claims that ‘the Liberal Government has done everything in its power to try and destroy Australia’s share in one of the world’s fastest growing industries with devastating consequences for our country.’
So what does Labor propose to do?
- Millions more solar panel installations on homes and businesses over the next 15 years
- Improvements in battery technology and uptake (for lower power bills)
- Greater investment in renewable energy to increase jobs and reduce pollution
- Continued support and encouragement of state governments in their renewable energy targets
Other ‘positive policies’ the Labor party has formed around the topic of environment include:
- Net Zero Pollution by 2050
- Carbon Capture On The Land
- Cleaner Power Generation
- Increased Energy Efficiency
The driver behind these policies is Labor’s position on global warming being a real threat to Australia (and the world), and the urgent requirement that steps are made to reverse it.
From the ALP website:
“If we do not act, Australia will continue to experience an increase in extreme weather events, more severe droughts and rising sea levels. All of which will come at an incredibly high cost to our economy, our environment and our way of life.”
Comparatively, the Liberal position on climate change and the policies it will engage to combat it seem far more brief than Labor’s.
As part of their progress to date the Liberal party acknowledges Australia’s signing of the Paris Climate Change Agreement and mentions that ‘under the Renewable Energy Target, more than 23% of Australia’s electricity will come from renewable energy by 2020.’ Of course, there is no mention that the Abbott Government worked hard to reduce this target (not to mention completely abolish it!).
Moving forward, the Liberal party claim to have set an ambitious target to reduce pollution by up to 28% by 2030, based on 2005 levels. According to the Liberal party, that’s the equivalent of ‘reducing emissions per capita by up to 52% – the second largest reduction of any G20 economy.’
The Liberal party has also pledged to invest $2.5b to encourage businesses to reduce their emissions through their Emissions Reduction Fund.
Whilst the points mentioned here are only the tip of the iceberg that is the 2016 Australian Federal Election, from an environmental perspective at least, it appears that Labor has the edge. They seem to have a far more drastic plan for upping renewable energy consumption and investment in Australia.
Check out the Labor and Liberal party websites to read more about their respective environmental plans and policies.