The mercury is rising – can politicians feel the heat?

Independent polling commissioned by Greenpeace reveals a growing backlash against climate-wrecking politicians ahead of the federal election.

by Greenpeace Australia Pacific

6 March 2019

Treasurer Scott Morrison hands Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce a lump of coal during Question Time in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017.

Treasurer Scott Morrison hands Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce a lump of coal during Question Time in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017.

AAPIMAGE

Less than a week after Scott Morrison announced a reheated version of Tony Abbott’s failed plan to reduce emissions Australians have not only rejected it – but they’re also saying that global warming and the environment are the number one factors deciding their vote in the forthcoming election.

A Greenpeace-commissioned Ucomms poll[1] of more than 2000 Australian voters, conducted last week, found that 23.8 percent of voters named global warming and the environment as the number one issue that will influence their vote at the upcoming federal election.

Global warming and the environment pipped ‘the economy’, which clocked in at 23 percent. That along with the combination of heatwaves, record-shattering floods, raging bushfires and fish kills make 2019 “The Climate Election”.

Even though the coal industry causes more damage to the climate than any other industry (just five big energy companies’ coal-burning power stations pump out more emissions than every car, bus and truck on the road)[2], the Morrison Government has allowed it to continue to wreak havoc on future generations with impunity.

It’s hard to understate how much is at stake – this is the defining issue of our times. These results should serve as a wakeup call to Scott Morrison that he needs to put our interests as voters ahead of the obsessions of the small band of coal huggers in his government. Global warming is a top election issue and the Government’s track record is an embarrassment, to put it mildly.

More than half of those polled said they would be less likely to vote for a party that hands over public money to private coal projects. Australians know that as our ageing coal power stations continue to retire and renewables continue to get cheaper, pandering to a dwindling band of cheerleaders for more coal-burning power stations doesn’t change the laws of physics – while there are plenty of ways to create clean and cheap energy, you can’t burn coal without damage to the climate.

The Australian people don’t understand or accept Morrison’s obsession with a dangerous and highly-polluting power source that belongs in the past.

It’s even harder to fathom as climate changes produce unprecedented heat, unseasonal floods and fires, and scorching droughts. Any political party who wants to lead us into the future must have a credible plan for tackling these issues.

These results make crystal clear that any government that gifts taxpayers’ money to private coal projects will be punished by voters at the upcoming federal election. Scott Morrison needs to accept that he cannot bet the nation’s future on the dirty technology of the past without electoral consequences, the only thing he seems to care about as the climate screams under his watch.

Over 1,100 Greenpeace supporters chipped in to make this independent polling possible. Join the campaign!

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Greenpeace Australia Pacific

By Greenpeace Australia Pacific

Greenpeace is an independent campaigning organisation that uses non-violent direct action to expose global environmental problems and to force solutions which are essential to a green and peaceful future.