Have you seen the news? On Monday the world’s best scientists made global headlines. Their brutal warning? Destructive human activity has put a million species at risk of extinction.
The report is devastating, but do you know what gives me hope? The extinction crisis is finally on the front page and the political agenda. At long last, people are starting to pay attention. The French President has vowed to step up. Even Hillary Clinton tweeted, “This cannot be our legacy.”
It’s not just the world tweeting – it’s also become a huge issue in Australian politics.
We’re just days away from the federal election, and survey after survey shows voters are more concerned about our climate and environment than any other election issue.
But how do the parties compare? Which parties will address the climate and extinction crisis, and which ones are still in denial?
We’ve rigorously analysed the parties’ policies across 50 key climate and nature tests. The results are eye-opening.
Political leadership on nature really matters in Australia because our country is a global deforestation hotspot. We have one of the worst extinction rates in the world.
Despite our ancient forests and incredible wildlife, we don’t actually have functioning environment laws. And there are significant differences in how the major parties are responding to this crisis.
Just this morning, literally days after the world’s biodiversity crisis made headlines, Prime Minister Scott Morrison attacked environmental regulation.
By contrast, the Labor Party has announced it will create new national environment laws, as well as a national Environment Protection Authority. Their policy commitment lacks important detail, but the Labor Party’s commitment is a positive and important step.
It comes after years of sustained campaigning – including our biggest petition ever calling for strong national environment laws to protect the air we breathe, the water we drink and the places and wildlife we love.
We still have a long way to go. We know powerful vested interests – like big miners, loggers and reckless developers – will lobby hard to stop strong new environment laws becoming a reality. It’ll take all of us, working together, to turn this extinction crisis around.
The most important thing you can do right now? Check out our independent scorecard to be an informed voter on 18 May.