Pacific Islanders and environmental groups welcomed the Australian government’s shift in climate policy
Many Pacific Islanders and environmental groups are celebrating the win of the Labor party in Australia as a win for climate action.
The Labor party has promised to do more to protect the climate, and a number of Independents in Melbourne and Sydney, and the Greens in Brisbane, won seats – and they heavily campaigned on climate action.
For Australian voters climate change and action on climate was a key factor in deciding how they voted on election day.
A cut of 43 percent to carbon emissions by the end of the decade was Labor’s position on climate change.
While that plan has the backing of business groups, environmentalists say it should be more ambitious.
It’s a position held by some Independents and the Greens MPs who want a reduction target of up to 60 per cent.
“I think the hope is that the Independents and the Greens now that they have more power will hold Labor more accountable to the promises that have made but also to their current policy,” Labor-voter Joseph Sikulu from the environmental organisation 350.org in Australia said.
“We say that we’re celebrating that Labor has won this election, because we know it’s a step in the right direction.
“But we know it’s just a small step because their current policy already isn’t good enough to match the action that is needed.”
He says Pacific communities in Australia were out in droves to vote for climate action, saying “we can see in this election, where people normally live that they have actually voted for the constituents that voted for representation that represents climate”.
Cook Island Australian Louisa Nifmed from western Sydney also voted for Labor, saying she is “quite excited with the change, massive change”.
“I think, for me, it’s more like people are coming out to vote and also want to be heard, there are louder noises now than before.
“It’s an amazing result, actually with Labor, and, and just the Greens and Independents also.”
Across the Pacific, the Australian government’s shift in climate policy has also been welcomed.
“The outcome of the elections in Australia is, I believe, very significant for us as Pacific Islanders,” Reverend James Bhagwan from the Pacific Conference of Churches in Fiji said.
“The key issue, of course, is climate change, and from what we can see, as a result of the votes, climate change played a very important role in how people voted.”
The Pacific Islands Climate Action Network is also keeping an eye on Australia’s new government and wants greater ambition in its approach on climate.
This story was written by Dubravka Voloder, originally published at ABC on 24 May 2022, reposted via PACNEWS.