The ACF’s climate scorecard: the numbers say it all

“Time to insist on a survivable world”

The Australian Conservation Foundation has analysed political party policies on 50 key tests on coal, renewables, Adani and the environment. The results are not altogether surprising, with the Liberal-National party scoring a woeful 4 per cent, Labor 56 per cent and the Greens 99 per cent.

The results are similar to the Climate Council scorecard that rated the Coalition’s climate action F for fail (see previous feature), and a separate 2019 Federal election scorecard that has rated the Coalition 0/8, Federal Labor 4.5/8 and Greens 8/8.

To calculate its scores, the ACF team designed a set of spreadsheets and went to work researching party announcements, sifting through media releases, speeches and voting records to get to grips with party policies against the 50 key tests including the transition from coal to renewable energy, support or otherwise for Adani, and addressing the extinction crisis.

They also “pushed candidates to confirm lofty promises in interviews and social media”, and carefully recorded independents and minor parties’ responses to detailed surveys sent out.

“Policy analysis like this might seem a little dry, but this scorecard is vitally important information for all the voters who call our continent – and planet – home,” Government Relations Manager Saffron Zomer said.

“Our role, as voters in this election, is critically important.

“Right now, Australia is lagging behind. Our elected representatives are still failing to stop big coal and gas companies from destroying our climate. We simply cannot afford another three years of dithering and denial.

“As voters in Australia and as citizens of Planet Earth, the most important thing we can all do right now is make our political leaders rise to the challenge and deliver. And if they refuse, we need to replace them.

“That’s why this is The Climate Election. It’s time to insist on a survivable world.”

Visit ​www.acf.org.au/scorecard-independent to view comparisons between independent candidates and minor parties.

The ACF has also mounted an anti-Adani campaign, which should it be granted approval to proceed, would wreck the climate, steal groundwater, trash Indigenous rights and irreversibly damage the Great Barrier Reef.

“Adani’s mine is a climate crime – a crime against humanity and our planet … that's why millions of people right across Australia have stepped up to say no.

“Together, we must prove our community opposition is stronger than the coal lobbyists. We must demonstrate we are unstoppable,” says the ACF which plans to take the federal government to court declaring it broke its own laws over the water-guzzling pipeline Adani wants for the mega-mine.

In a similar vein by a different group, the Climate and Health Alliance which is a national coalition of health groups working for climate action has released a Federal Election Scorecard based on an analysis of party policies on climate change and health.

The 2019 Federal election scorecard has rated the Coalition 0/8, Federal Labor 4.5/8 and Greens 8/8.

CAHA commended federal Labor’s commitment to introducing a National Strategy based on the Framework for a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being for Australia if elected to govern. The Australian Greens also support a National Strategy.

CAHA executive director Fiona Armstrong said: “We welcome the leadership from the Australian Labor Party and The Greens, who have both committed to tackling the health impacts of climate change through a National Strategy on Climate Change and Health.

The Alliance is now calling on the Liberal National Coalition to make a similar commitment.

“The members of the Alliance hope the Liberals and Nationals don’t leave it too much longer to put themselves on the right side of history in developing policy to tackle this issue,” Fiona Armstrong said.

The ACF, Greenpeace, Doctors for the Environment, Nature Conservation Council, Friends of the Environment and a host of health and civil society organisations and 20 scientists are signatory to the Climate Alliance Open Letter that is calling on all political parties and candidates in the upcoming federal election for effective action on climate change for the health of the community.

The united group wants the parties to:

1 Acknowledge the significant and profound impacts climate change has on the health of people and our health system.

2 Support the implementation of a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being, based on the Framework developed by health stakeholders.

3 Ensure the Strategy includes a credible, equitable and stable plan to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with emphasis on a rapid transition to renewable energy in the electricity and transport sectors.

4 Support rapid phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies which contribute to climate change and health impacts.

5 Support the implementation of a plan to assist the health sector and the community, particularly people at risk, to adapt and build resilience to unavoidable climate change impacts already locked in, and

6 Support a climate and health research program to evaluate specific threats to health in Australia from climate change and the burning of fossil fuels.

The group is also asking voters to contact their local candidates and either email or visit them to let them know that climate change is and will affect Australians health and that, conversely, climate action is a win for both people's health and in reducing the economic burden of ill-health associated with climate change.

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