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Climate Change And Its Effect On The Australian Elections

Labor party member Anthony Albanese (C) speaks to supporters over a beer in a pub in Sydney.
Labor party member Anthony Albanese (C) speaks to supporters over a beer in a pub in Sydney.

This year, the largest percentage of Australians since 2006 agreed with the following statement: “global warming is a serious and pressing problem. We should begin taking steps now even if this involves significant cost.”

Journalists and pundits alike believed that this sentiment would affect this weekend’s elections and that Australians might overwhelmingly select a party with the most aggressive approach toward climate change.

But that’s not what happened.

From The New York Times:

But over all, Australians shrugged off the warming seas killing the Great Barrier Reef and the extreme drought punishing farmers. On Saturday, in a result that stunned most analysts, they re-elected the conservative coalition that has long resisted plans to sharply cut down on carbon emissions and coal.

In an opinion piece for the ABC, political science professor Matt McDonald analyzed more of the results.

And we saw a rise of only around 0.5 per cent of the primary vote for the party with the most progressive and ambitious climate policy: the Greens. More consequentially, of course, we saw the re-election of a Government with limited ambition on emissions reductions.

What issues were more salient to voters? How will the conservative government address an issue that constituents care about — but that didn’t drive their ballot?

We bring you the latest on the results of the Australian elections.


James Glenday, North America correspondent, the Australian Broadcast Corporation; @jamesglenday

For more, visit https://the1a.org.

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