After what feels like a long wait, our federal election has finally been called. Although Greenpeace campaigns 365 days a year, elections are important milestones in our work as they focus the public and politicians on all sorts of issues.
And for the first time in an Australian election, climate change is a key issue of concern for the electorate. Poll after poll and focus group after focus group bears this out.
We have John Howard promising to “very shortly announce detailed plans on many issues including a climate change policy”.
Kevin Rudd said he would be “acting nationally and internationally decisively on climate change so that we do not destroy the economic and environmental future of the next generation of Australians”.
Greenpeace is calling on both sides of politics to outline substantive policies on climate change.
Thus far the Prime Minister has been a climate denier and really has a very long way to go to gain credibility. The Opposition has made some progress but still needs to show how Australia will decrease its emissions and its dependence on fossil fuels, particularly coal.
To get serious about climate change, we need a law to cut greenhouse pollution by 30% by 2020, and to do this we need to ensure that all new energy production is from renewable energy not dirty coal.
Greenpeace is calling on both major parties to announce they will set emissions reduction targets of 30% for 2020, ratify the Kyoto protocol and also set a 25 per cent mandatory renewable energy target for 2020.
These are the key measures of a government that is serious about climate change.
Now it is your turn - make your voice and your concerns about climate change heard. Get everyone you know to go to http://www.thebigswitch.org.au - this is Australia's largest community climate campaign website designed to make every member of Parliament personally accountable and involved in finding climate solutions.
Together, we can make a difference.