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Mr Morrison, it’s not. Minority government need not create ‘chaos’ – it might finally drag Australia to a responsible climate policy

Mr Morrison, it’s not. Minority government need not create ‘chaos’ – it might finally drag Australia to a responsible climate policy

woman walks past building with election signs

Labor might be LeadingHowever, the possibility of a hung parliament in the May 21 elections is still possible.

So-called “teal” independents, whose blue conservatism is tinged with green concern for climate change, may well join Greens MP Adam Bandt and current independents on the lower house crossbench. Any minority government would need their support in this scenario.

With the support of advocacy groups Climate 200The teals are running campaigns on issues that are relevant to their electorates as well as raising funds locally. But HighThey have included a strong, science based response to the crisis.

A weekend report by Nine newspapers SuggestionsMost independents seeking a lower-house seat would not enter into a formal power-sharing agreement with either Labor or the Coalition. This would leave a major political party in minority government that negotiates with the crossbench on every piece it wants to pass.

Polled 12 independents, almost all of them cited climate change as a top priority that they would like to see progress on in negotiations with a minority Government.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison Claims the election of more independents to parliament would lead to “chaos”. However, as the Gillard Labor government has shown, minorities can break through intractable policy stalemates.

woman walks past building with election signs
In several key seats, incumbents face a challenge from independent candidates.
Joel Carrett/AAP

U-turn in climate policy

The Gillard minority government Reversed yearsBy implementing carbon pricing and other reforms, you can prevent climate policy failure. This was at the behestThe Greens and the SupportIndependents Andrew Wilkie and Rob Oakeshott, and Tony Windsor

Carbon pricing prompted Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions to fallFor the first time.

Climate policy was implemented by successive Coalition governments starting in 2013. Inverse. Renewable energy targets diminished. Carbon pricing was dropped and is now considered a political poisoned drink.

Australia’s past decade of majority government was ended in 2004. IsolatedIts lackluster climate efforts are being criticized on the international stage.

Continue reading:
Polls show a jump in the Greens vote – but its real path to power lies in reconciling with Labor

back of woman's head and a group of people in suits at a table
Julia Gillard was helped by the Greens and Independents to form a minority government in 2010.
Fairfax pool/AAP

Major parties force to negotiate?

We are heading into the election Neither major party’s climate policy is aligned with the emissions reduction ambition of the global Paris Agreement.

The Coalition’s policy is consistent with 3℃ to 4℃ of global warming by 2050. Importantly, it has failed to ramp up its 2030 emissions target from the paltry figure adopted by the Abbott government – of 26% to 28% on 2005 levels.

Labor has a higher 2030 emissions reduction target of 43% compared to 2005 levels. It is based upon reputable modelling but falls somewhat short for being consistent with 2℃, not 1.5℃, of global warming.

The chances of a major party renegotiating its climate policy with teal Independents or the Greens are slim to none. Minority government is capable of achieving consensus and taking action on major issues such as climate.

Tony Windsor, this month It should be noted, the Gillard minority government passed more legislation than any other, aside from John Howard’s in its final term. Peter Beattie was the former Queensland Premier Also insistsMinority government can work.

Malcolm Turnbull, former Prime Minister of the Coalition, this month Hailed the rise of the teal independents, who would sit on the cross bench, calling it “direct, democratic action from voters. People power, you might say.”

Read more:
How do major parties rate climate policies? We asked five experts

Group of men laughing
The Morrison government’s emissions reduction policy is aligned with 3℃ of global warming.
Mick Tsikas/AAP

What the Greens and Teals have to offer

The Greens and Teal Candidates are very concerned about climate change. Any minority government will need to negotiate with them in order for them to form government or manage their agendas.

Polls show that independent teal MP Zalisteggall will easily be re-elected in Warringah’s Liberal seat. She will reintroduce the ambitious climate change goals she has been working towards. BillMost likely, with the Supportcompared to any other elected teal MPs or most of the crossbench.

This bill is modelled on the United Kingdom’s Climate Change Act. It is a tool for coordinating climate policies in line with the legislated targets to net zero emissions by 2020 and at least 60% reductions by 2030.

Steggall’s “5 Steps to Net zero” comprise:

The Greens wouldReplace coal and gas by renewables and ban fossil fuel industry political donations. The party would help households and small businesses transition to renewables. It would also implement a coal export tax and eventually phaseout thermal coal exports.

The Greens want Australia to reaching net zero emissions by 2035 (compared to the government’s goal of 2050) and to reach 100% renewable energy by 2030.

rows of solar panels with hills
Zali Steggall’s climate change bill includes a target of 80% renewable energy by 2030.
Lukas Coch/AAP

Shifting the needle

The fate of effective national climate policy in Australia – policy that actually reduces emissions – now rests largely on the mix of members in the next parliament and the actions they support.

A majority Coalition win in the election would send Australia into another round of climate inaction. You can leaveThe only ones making progress are the state and territorial governments.

If a minority Coalition government eventuates, the Greens won’t offer it support. Teal independents DidWe can expect them to cross the threshold on climate policy to support any viable proposal from Labor that has the numbers to succeed.

Labor, the Greens and Steggall’s plans share common ground. However, if Labor forms a minority government it will be under pressure to accelerate the phase-out of fossil fuels as well as to reduce its 2030 emissions target in line with science.

One thing is certain: if a major party forms a minority government after an election, it should be ready to shift the needle towards more effective climate policies.

Continue reading:
Labor’s 2030 climate target betters the Morrison government, but Australia must go much further, much faster

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