The Australians will elect their next government and their deputies this Saturday, May 18 with the environment as a primary concern. The country-continent has experienced extreme weather events in recent months, and record temperatures in January have decimated hundreds of herds.
In the countryside, the worst drought in fifty years has fallen on farmers already in pain. In the north, residents have experienced catastrophic floods and the Great Barrier Reef is experiencing bleaching events due to rising ocean temperatures.
Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
What raise the concern of the inhabitants, who, according to a recent poll of the ABC media place the environment in front of the concerns of this election. Interest in global warming has even jumped 9% in one year, according to an Ipsos study published in March. New communities are making their voices heard, as evidenced by youth climate markets in big cities: 88.8% of 18-24 year olds have registered on the voting lists and 89% of 18-34 year olds want more measures for the climate.
In the first line, farmers. In his cattle farm in central New South Wales, Robert Lee has seen his production decline and the seasons change since he was a child. " The periods of drought are longer, the rains more violent, and the grass stops pushing He laments.
Extreme weather in Australia, dead fish in lakes and crocodiles on the streets
A member of the Farmers for Climate Action organization, he calls on the government to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Although 30% of farmers declare themselves climate-skeptical, " more and more believe in warming after the severe drought this winter He says. While some are transforming their culture to meet the high temperatures, others see themselves as "climate refugees" and move, just like the Brown Brothers owners. After 120 years of viticulture in Victoria, they settle in Tasmania where the climate is cooler.
The largest coal mine in the country
The outgoing Conservative government's choice, led by Scott Morrison, to develop fossil fuels and its failure to fight global warming is strongly criticized.
In April, the Prime Minister gave his final green light to the operation by the company Adani of the largest coal mine in the country, located near the Great Barrier Reef, in central Queensland (north of the state ). " A death sentence for the region's biodiversity According to environmentalists. However, a study by the Climate Change Council shows that eight out of ten Australians are waiting for the government to use more renewable energy.
Climate emergency in Australia
Australia is one of the countries that generates the most greenhouse gas emissions per capita. In December 2018, the government acknowledged that it was not in a good position to meet its emissions reduction targets by 2030, set in the framework of the Paris agreement.
Residents are skeptical about a true Conservative environmental policy. Some members of this party do not recognize global warming or were caught mocking the phenomenon, as Tony Abbott, former prime minister, who called it " shit ". A total shift with the rest of the population that believes, for 89%, global warming.
" Australians are frustrated by political inaction. They feel that they are paying for it and that it is becoming more difficult to start an energy transition Says social scientist Rebecca Huntley.
More renewable energies
On the opposition side, the Labor Party represented by Bill Shorten, credited with a small advance in the polls, wants to turn to more renewable energy and the creation of more electric cars, up to 50% of here in 2030.
" It's about staying in the past or having a positive vision and making sure this country is working for everyone Said the party leader.
Elections in Australia
• Australia, a member of the Commonwealth, is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy. On May 18, she renewed all 151 seats in the House of Representatives and 40 of the 76 seats in the Senate.
• The House of Representatives then chooses the Prime Minister. The outgoing Scott Morrison is leader of the Liberal Party.
• After six years of conservative rule, alternation is likely even if the center-left lead, a favorite, has recently been reduced. According to an Essential Research study, 51% of respondents would opt for the center-left, and 49% for the liberal-national coalition.
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