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Climate change has emerged as a defining issue in the outcome of the 2007 Australian Federal Election with the new Labor Government given a clear mandate to take decisive action.
“Australians have voted for fair dinkum action on climate change and are looking forward to Mr Rudd moving immediately to ratify Kyoto and develop a strong target to cut greenhouse pollution by 2020,” Don Henry, ACF executive director said.
“We would also urge the Coalition to give bi-partisan support to Kyoto ratification. It is time for Australia to become a leader and not a laggard on this crucial issue.”
In the second last week of the campaign, polling by the Australian Research Group for The Climate Institute showed 73% of voters in marginal seats believed said that climate change would have a ‘strong influence’ on their vote.
Twenty one of the net 24 new Labor seats were decided on Green Party preferences highlighting that Australians are deeply concerned about climate change and the environment.
“Australians everywhere believe that if we all work together, we can dramatically cut greenhouse pollution, play a global, climate leadership role and become a world leader in clean and renewable energy,” Mr Henry said.
“There is now broad community support for a strong clean, renewable energy target and a rejection of nuclear power in Australia.
“This is probably the first time that climate change has been such a pivotal national election issue anywhere in the world. The Prime Minister’s opposition to Kyoto ratification may even have cost him his seat, which remains in doubt.”
ACF’s comprehensive election scorecard on climate change and the environment highlighted key differences between the parties. The final scorecard awarded the Coalition a score of just 22 out of 100, with Labor on 60 and the Greens on 96.