Media Release Climate Change

Election result resets agenda on climate action, brings renewed hope for our reefs

May 22, 2022

The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) congratulates Prime Minister elect Anthony Albanese and the Labor party on their election as Australia’s next government and recognises the achievements of the Greens and teal independents in the wave of support they have received.

The result – including a surge for climate-focused candidates – shows that Australian voters are thirsting for more ambitious climate action this decade and protection for our environment.

It brings an end to a Coalition government mired in climate inaction, earning Australia an international reputation as a climate laggard.

AMCS CEO Darren Kindleysides said: “This result shows that Australian voters want our next government to deliver more for our life-giving, economy-supporting oceans.

“The heartbreaking simultaneous bleaching events on our east and west coast reefs in March painfully highlighted the increasing pressure our oceans face from global heating driven by the burning of fossil fuels.

“The incoming Australian government has the opportunity to listen to voters and step up to deliver swift and decisive action on the climate and the extinction crisis.”

Mr Kindleysides said Australia had to reduce emissions by 75% by 2030 and reach net zero by 2035 to help ensure a pathway of no more than 1.5C of warming – a key threshold for coral reefs. Before the election, Labor committed to reducing emissions by 43% by 2030, and net zero by 2050.

“The tide of support for teal independents and Greens all standing on platforms of higher targets gives the Labor government the mandate and opportunity to increase its ambition,” he said.

“They can realise the potential of clean energy to bring economic opportunities to our regions and safeguard the jobs of tens of thousands of Australians who rely on healthy reefs and oceans. The science shows we must also turn our back on new fossil fuel developments if we are to have a safe climate.

“We look forward to working with the new Labor government and this new parliament to deliver results for our reefs and oceans.

“In particular, we will be supporting Labor’s pledge to invest almost $200m on reef recovery projects across the next three years, and their promises to look after our precious environments by strengthening environment laws and protections for threatened and endangered species.

“We also look forward to working with the new government to continue progress in tackling plastic pollution, reducing the environmental impact of our fisheries and building Australia’s leadership in protecting oceans in marine parks.”

Notes to editors

Before the election, AMCS conducted a policy analysis of commitments to our oceans by the major parties. It can be read here.