It’s no surprise to anyone that the Liberal Party has time and time again bailed out on the question of the environment, but what alternative does the Labor Party offer? The short answer is none. The Labor Party has continued its commitment to coal and proposed significant cuts to climate spending, while massively increasing the military budget. Of course, this is no surprise coming from the party that approved the Adani coal mines despite massive opposition from the Australian public. Labor has always been committed to boosting profits and mindlessly destroying the environment, and they’re not going to change their habits any time soon.
The climate crisis is quickly reaching a critical point, and unless change is made now we’re going to experience irreversible damage to the environment. Labor’s solution to this? Pathetic emissions reduction targets and continual approval of coal mines. Anthony Albanese has recently said that, “If coal mines stack up environmentally, and then commercially, which is the decision for the companies, then they get approved.” News flash Albo, coal mines don’t, and never will, stack up environmentally. But for a country with such a large mining industry and level of fossil fuel exports, how can we ever expect our parliamentary leaders to implement change?
According to the Climate Targets Panel, we need to reduce emissions by 74% by 2030 to prevent a 1.5°C increase in global temperatures, or at least a 50% reduction to prevent an over 2°C rise. And many climate scientists argue that these targets are still too conservative.The Labor Party, however, has only proposed a measly 43% reduction – less than their 2019 election target. Instead of immediate, large-scale investment in renewables, Labor is choosing to push ahead with expanding two of the most environmentally destructive industries, mining and the military, while pretending to take on the climate question. They do so with the promise of net zero by 2050 – a fraudulent excuse so many world leaders have promised so they can continue stalling (and lining the pockets of billionaire mine owners). Net zero is nothing but ‘blah blah blah’, in the words of Greta Thunberg, putting off action to the distant future when we need a radical and rapid transition from fossil fuels right now.
Labor’s infatuation with mining continues to destroy our environment, and their current actions are absolutely a reflection of the behaviours they have exhibited in years and elections past. They are notorious for stripping Aboriginal people of their native titles in order to open up more and more mines. The most infamous of these is the Adani coal mine in the Galilee Basin, where the Wangan and Jagalingou people have had their land rights stolen.
We cannot rely on a party that consistently fails to take up the issue of climate change. With the military and mining corporations receiving greater funding each year, there is no good option among the two parties to solve this crisis. It is up to us to demand change and reject weak promises like Net Zero. Whether the Labor or Liberal Party win the election, we will have to continue to fight against them for climate justice.