Climate Leadership Agreement

If elected, Independent MPs in the Australian Parliament agree to collaborate to achieve meaningful action on climate change.

We, the undersigned, are standing as independent candidates at the 2019 federal election.

We come from different parts of Australia, and different political backgrounds, but are united by a desire to represent the long term public interest of Australia and best interests of our local communities.

We recognise that to be a true servant of our communities and our national parliament, we must demonstrate and deliver strong leadership on climate change.

The evidence of dangerous climate change is well-established and beyond doubt. Climate change is a real and present threat to the safety and security of the people and places we care about, as well as the national economy.

Extreme weather events, loss of native species, landscape changes, and sea-level rise are all now driving increased mitigation and adaptation costs on government and business, a loss of investment opportunity, lack of economic certainty, and damaging our future standard of living and health of our country.

The solutions to climate change are key to our nation’s, and planet’s, future prosperity. Private investment depends on policy certainty. Government Industry Policy is at its best when promoting new job markets, not protecting declining ones, and supporting just transitions. In our regions and for people on the land, climate leadership can deliver healthier soils, secure clean water, and stewardship of our native plants and animals.

If elected at the upcoming federal election, we agree to work together and with other parliamentarians, to:

  1. Oppose the opening up of the thermal coal basin in the Galilee Basin in Queensland, one of the largest coal reserves on the planet, for mining. This includes opposing the development of the proposed Adani coal mine. If proposed projects were allowed, full production of the Galilee Basin would double Australia’s coal exports to 600 million tonnes, significantly contributing to global climate change.

  2. Reinvigorate and restore funding to the national Climate Change Authority to be the independent, credible science-based advisory body it was originally intended to be;

3. Exceed Australia’s Paris Agreement emissions reduction target. Ensure Kyoto Protocol carryover credits are not used to meet the 2030 target.

  1. Develop a roadmap to power Australia from 100 per cent renewable energy, aiming to achieve at least 50 per cent by 2030;

  2. Support policies and legislation that prioritise climate change as progressive industry policy supporting investment and embedding benefits for Australians and their environment. This includes investment in clean energy, clean transport, healthier and biodiverse land carbon sinks and jobs;

  3. Oppose attempts to commit public money to new or existing coal or other fossil fuel operations, including any government underwriting of coal or gas power
    plants. Enhance transparency of environmental approvals, particularly those related to water and habitats vital for wildlife and people.

  4. Embed climate change into industry, economic, health and environment policy and law so that action to support Australians cut pollution and adapt to climate change becomes a central objective of government;

  5. Increase funding for, and protection of, threatened and native species and habitat;

  6. Work with farmers and other land managers to reduce invasive species, and prioritise

    the climate change and biodiversity benefits of soil, land, forest, and water

    management;

  7. Make climate change a key focus of Australia’s international aid program and ensure all

    of Australia’s overseas financing activities are consistent with the aims and objectives of the Paris Agreement.

We recognise this is not an exhaustive list of actions we could take, but it represents a starting point towards making the Australian Parliament a greater force for responsible and effective climate action.

Signatories

Andrew Wilkie MP, Member for Denison
Kerryn Phelps MP, Member for Wentworth
Julia Banks MP, Member for Chisholm, Independent candidate for Flinders
Dr Helen Haines, Independent candidate for Indi
Zali Steggall, Independent candidate for Warringah
Rob Oakeshott, Independent candidate for Cowper
Oliver Yates, Independent candidate for Kooyong

An initiative of the Australian Conservation Foundation, 1 May 2019.