What happened to the ‘climate election’ ?

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Coalition's climate change policies criticised for not being ambitious enough SOURCE: ABC News: Ian Cutmore

The 2019 federal election has been determined. A Liberal government will continue to govern, but what does this mean for Australia as we face the ongoing issue of climate change? 

I believe the election concluded the same way it began – with no party having a clear plan, no distinct change outlined and potentially no hope for legislating on major issues.

The New York Times wrote that Australia was the most vulnerable developed country to the effects of climate change. From the outside looking in, they could clearly identify an unwillingness of the Australian parliament to put in place comprehensive legislation relating to energy and emission reduction.

It was meant to be the ‘climate election’ where policies would be tailored to suit the growing concerns of the public, but somehow these concerns did not transform into votes. Both Labor and the Green’s promised more significant and progressive policies with considerable investments into renewable energy and emission reduction targets. Comparatively, the Liberals offered very little in the way of alleviating the pressures of climate change.

After years of blatant refusal to address the issue in fear of imposing a tax that would lose votes, we finally had political parties ready to step up and take the necessary action.  However, as climate change enters a state of emergency, Australia has again fallen victim to the fear of economic change rather than the climate changing.

Voters have essentially kissed the Great Barrier Reef goodbye, given a ‘best of luck’ to the farmers facing droughts and a ‘who cares’ to the Liberal’s history of resisting reducing carbon emissions and coal mining.  

The ABC wrote that the past five years have been the hottest on record, natural disasters have increased in both frequency and intensity, and we face an animal extinction crisis. 

There is no doubt that we are in the centre of a major global issue yet somehow voters have used the economics of the situation to justify inaction. What’s the point of being the richest person in the graveyard? What’s a little extra tax when it could mean the earth remains habitable.

All we can hope for now is that Prime Minister Scott Morrison will consider the proposed policies of other parties when addressing climate change.

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