Vision for our future

2 May 2022

On 21 May, Australians will take to the polls to decide our next Federal Government.

Across the climate and environment sectors, organisations are calling on all political parties to adopt bold policy agendas to turn the tide against the dual biodiversity and climate crises knocking on our doorsteps. 

Acting decisively on climate and nature offers an opportunity to deliver great outcomes for people across Australia, as well as our natural environment. Below is a snapshot of the key policy asks that climate and environmental organisations are calling for this election.  

If you would like to be introduced to any of these organisations, please contact Daisy:  

Climate Action Network Australia

Climate Action Network Australia (CANA) is a network that supports 149 members and their allies to take action to protect people from climate change, to safeguard our natural environment and to build a fair, clean, healthy Australia for everyone.  As part of CANA’s policy goals to reduce climate pollution, it is calling on all parties and candidates this election to commit to develop a national plan to slash climate pollution this decade. They call for strong targets that at a minimum match the United States, the United Kingdom and trading partners such as the European Union and Japan.    

This plan would include: 

  • delivering 100 per cent  of our electricity from sun, wind and other renewable power and storage by 2030; 
  • a national plan to clean up transport and drive the shift to electric vehicles; 
  • ending public funding for coal, oil and gas; and 
  • delivering an Australian Trees for Climate Plan to reduce climate pollution by at least 1 billion tonnes by 2030. 

Australian Land Conservation Alliance

The Australian Land Conservation Alliance (ALCA) represents Australia’s leading land restoration and conservation organisations working with landholders on privately owned and managed land across Australia. Together, ALCA’s members represent a substantial and growing voice in Australia’s land management sector. ALCA’s top policy asks are below.

  1. The reinstatement of the National Reserve System Programme with a fund capitalisation of at least $1 billion, with stated goals of: 
    • assisting Australia to meet a commitment to protect 30 per cent of Australia’s land and 30 per cent of Australia’s sea by 2030, in line with the post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework;  
    • scaling the current protection provided by Private Protected Areas from its current rate of 2 per cent of private land, to 5 per cent of private land by 2030; and  
    • addressing the adequacy and representativeness of our protection of Australia’s unique and diverse ecosystems.  
  2. An initial budget commitment of at least $80 million to $100 million over the forward estimates to expand the private protected areas network.
  3. A commitment to implementing the recommendations of the Samuel Review of the  Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, but especially strengthened National Environmental Standards and a genuinely independent Environment Assurance Commissioner.

Download ACLA’s full list of policy asks from their website (pdf)

Australian Conservation Foundation

The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF)  is one of Australia’s largest national environment organisations, funded by 700,000 people advocating for nature protection and action on climate change. The ACF’s Renew Australia plan asks policymakers to enact climate and nature solutions that will cut climate pollution by at least half this decade by:  

  • implementing a roadmap over the next decade to decarbonise Australia’s export economy from fossil fuels to renewable energy, and establishing a National Just Transition Authority to assist communities currently reliant on jobs in coal and gas;
  • committing to zero emissions transport by 2025 through electric vehicles, electrified freight rail and public transport;
  • creating energy independent communities by investing in and moving to 100 per cent renewable energy through powering schools, hospitals, government offices, public and social housing, remote Indigenous communities, sporting clubs, halls and libraries with affordable, clean energy by 2025;
  • moving the money so that federal and state governments, as well as banks and superfunds, immediately stop funding coal and gas projects;
  • creating strong national nature protection laws that stop Australia’s worsening extinction crisis and support nature as a climate solution; and
  • allocating adequate funding to restore and protect nature, including $2 billion per year for three years toward a national conservation and land management program.

Download ACF’s complete Renew Australia Agenda from its website.  

Australian Council of Social Service

The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) is a national advocate supporting people affected by poverty, disadvantage and inequality, and the peak council for community services nationally. ACOSS has a comprehensive suite of climate policy asks on its website (pdf). Summarised below are its top policy priorities:

  • Aim to cut emissions by 75 per cent by 2030. At the very least match commitments from our key allies to halve our emissions by 2030, and reach net zero emissions by 2035. 
  • Invest up to $5000 in energy efficiency improvements per dwelling for 1.8 million low-income homes to cut emissions and energy bills, and create thousands of local jobs. 
  • Establish a First Nations Communities Clean Energy Fund to invest in clean energy and energy efficiency for remote communities. 
  • Establish and adequately fund an Energy Transition Authority to provide a fair and inclusive transition for fossil fuel-dependent workers and communities. 

Country Needs People

Country Needs People is not-for-profit, non-partisan and works with all sides of politics for a positive outcome. It is a growing alliance of over 41 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander land and sea management organisations. Threats to Country are getting worse, but with sustained long-term funding, Indigenous rangers and Indigenous Protected Areas can turn things around. That’s why Country Needs People is calling on all political parties and candidates to commit to:  

  • double the number of Indigenous rangers over 10 years; 
  • create a fund for ranger training, capacity building, networking and infrastructure costs; 
  • double the funding for the Indigenous Protected Area program over four years; and  
  • ensure equal employment opportunities for women rangers by 2030. 

Sustain – the Australian Food Network

Sustain – the Australian Food Network is a not-for-profit network specialising in designing and building healthy food systems that support flourishing communities, individuals and ecosystems. Sustain provides people, councils and organisations with the tools they need to help them become empowered food citizens. Sustain asks that policymakers: 

  • commit to expand the network of community gardens including a $500 million national edible gardening fund over three years to support a mass expansion of urban agriculture activities across Australia, co-financed by state and federal governments as well as developers and philanthropy, and funding for edible gardens in the public school system; 
  • facilitate land access and infrastructure for urban farmers and community growers and fund research on the impacts and benefits of urban agriculture;
  • improve skills-based training and apprenticeships in urban agriculture, market gardening and related fields; 
  • prohibit fast food outlets within 1km of educational or healthcare facilities; and 
  • develop policy to support market gardeners and farmers transition to sustainable and regenerative forms of horticulture and agriculture. 

Legal disclaimer: The organisations featured in this article undertake activities for the purpose of furthering the protection of the environment including action on climate change. The AEGN is sharing information about these organisations as a means of educating members about the range of organisations working in this area. We are not endorsing the organisation ourselves. The AEGN does not advocate for political candidates or parties or unlawful conduct.  

Across the climate and environment sectors, organisations are calling on all political parties to adopt bold policy agendas to turn the tide against the dual biodiversity and climate crises knocking on our doorsteps. 

Daisy Barham, Environmental Philanthropy Manager


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