We’ve broken down each major political party’s stance on climate change and the environment coming into the federal election to make it easier for you to Put The Planet First when you vote.


With the upcoming federal election, it can be hard to see past the election ads and campaign flyers and really get the gist of what each party will do for the climate and the environment. We’ve broken down their election promises and party policies, so you can understand what each party is offering.

Please note: As we near the election, political parties may update their policies, so make sure to check their websites for updated information.

Put The Planet First

Liberals and Nationals

Let’s start with our current governing parties, the Liberals and Nationals, also known as the Coalition. The Coalition has been in power since the 2013 federal election, and while on state and local levels the Nationals and Liberals operate a bit differently, they definitely have a unified front when it comes to the federal government and climate policies.

In 2019, The Climate Council published a report detailing the Australian Government’s climate change policies and their effectiveness since the election of the Liberal-National Coalition government in 2013.

They found that during the Coalition’s term, there has been an apparent lack of credible climate policy, with poor performance often covered up, censored, or misleadingly depicted.


Current Prime Minister Mr Scott Morrison | Photo sourced from the Liberal Party

Major Climate and Environmental Policies

Note: The Coalition received almost $675,000 in donations from fossil fuel companies over the last financial year (not including anonymous donors who gave less than the disclosure threshold).

The foundation of the Coalition’s environmental policy is in their Climate Solutions Package which aims to invest $3.5 billion to deliver on Australia’s 2030 climate commitments. The Coalition plans to do this through;

Climate Solutions Fund

To invest $2 billion into a Climate Solutions Fund to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the economy through the existing Emissions Reduction Fund. This will include giving farmers, small businesses, and Indigenous communities the chance to improve the local environment and benefit from new revenue opportunities.

National Electricity Market

Continued support for the transition to reliable renewables is underway in the National Electricity Market through projects like Snowy Hydro 2.0 and funding for the battery of the Nation Project in Tasmania and MarinusLink.

National Electric Vehicle Strategy

To develop a National Electric Vehicle Strategy to ensure a planned and managed transition to new vehicle technology and infrastructure so all Australians can reap the benefits.

Energy Efficiency

To help households and businesses improve energy efficiency and lower energy bills.

Local Environment Health

To create green and clean local environments by supporting local communities.

Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan

To invest over $2 billion in the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan, to improve water quality, fight crown of thorns starfish, and conduct research into restoration and adaptations, as well as invest $100 million in funding to protect our oceans.


Key Takeaways

Ultimately, the Coalition aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28% by 2030 based on 2005 levels, and reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

Despite these emission reductions goals, the Coalition’s Climate Solutions Package appears to focus on maintaining the current course of general action.

Although the party pledges to continue funding emissions reductions, environmental restoration, and renewable energy projects, the majority of their climate policies seem to focus more on small-scale programs and individual responsibility.

There’s no plan to phase out coal or gas from the Coalition Government.

Instead, they’ve unveiled a shortlist of 12 new energy investment projects that could be eligible for taxpayer funds and government support, which includes five gas plants.

Likewise, environmental checks and accountability for large polluters such as industrial corporations, seem to be lacking.


Next, let’s take a look at The Australian Labor Party – also known as ALP, which was last in power in 2013. Generally, Labor is the major centre-left political party in Australia and the slightly more progressive counterpart to the relatively conservative Coalition.


Labor Leader Mr Anthony Albanese | @Retermen

Major Climate and Environmental Policies

Note: Federal Labor received almost $474,000 in donations from fossil fuel groups over the last financial year (not including anonymous donors who gave less than the disclosure threshold).

The ALP’s environmental policies are found in their Climate Change Action Plan which aims to create $76 billion of investment into delivering Australia’s 2030 climate commitments. The ALP plans to do this through;

Powering Australia Plan

To revamp Australia’s ageing energy transmission infrastructure and enable more clean energy to feed into the grid. This plan aims to provide cheaper and more accessible renewable energy to Australian homes and businesses.

National Electric Vehicle Target

To establish a national electric vehicle target of 50% new car sales by 2030 and introduce vehicle emissions standards to reduce pollution and make the cost of driving a car cheaper.

Pollution Safeguard Mechanism

To extend the Pollution Safeguard Mechanism and bring down the amount of pollution emitted by Australia’s biggest polluters, in line with our international obligations, while supporting jobs and competitiveness.

Just Transition Authority

To establish an independent authority to plan and coordinate a just transition for workers into renewable energy sectors, as fossil fuel stations close.

Urban Rivers and Catchments Program

To provide grants for community groups, local and state governments to fund projects which deliver improvements to water quality and the local environment.

Climate Change Authority

To restore and reform the Climate Change Authority and implement triennial Climate Change Assessments.

Great Barrier Reef Investing

To invest $30 million into ReefHQ, an international standard research, innovation, and education facility to attempt to revitalise and preserve the Great Barrier Reef.


Road Tripping WA's South-West Corner, Michael Heritage, Two People's Bay, drone shot, beach, ocean

Photo thanks to Michael Heritage

Key Takeaways

Ultimately, the ALP aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030, based on 2005 levels, and reach net zero emissions by 2050.

The large focus of the ALP’s plan centres on their Powering Australia Plan, and the complete upgrade of Australia’s energy infrastructure to create a homegrown renewables sector.

There’s also a greater emphasis on holding Australia’s larger polluters accountable, with plans to require the nation’s 200 heaviest polluters to collectively lower their emissions over the next three decades.

ALP also aims to reverse some of the Coalition’s decisions over the past term, including reinstating climate science funding and effective climate change programs, such as restoring and reforming the Climate Change Authority and implementing triennial Climate Change Assessments.

However, similar to the Coalition, Labor has no concrete plans to phase out coal, although, they do recognise coal plants will need to close to reach their goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

The same can’t be said for Labor’s approach to gas, which it argues is a ‘transition fuel’. Instead of phasing out gas, Labor has pledged $1.5 billion to a Northern Australia Development Fund, to unlock gas supplies in Queensland and the Northern Territory.


Trailing behind the Coalition and Labor in size is our next biggest party; the Greens. As you can generally guess from its name, the Greens campaign has a significant focus on green energy and environmental concerns, and is one of the most left-wing parties in the Australian parliament.


Greens Party Leader Mr Adam Bandt | @LouisaBilleter

Major Climate and Environmental Policies

Note: The Greens has a policy of refusing donations from fossil fuel companies and has not reported any such donations in the past financial year.

The Greens’ centrepiece climate policies revolve around two key areas; addressing the climate crisis and protecting the environment. The party aims to address this through;

Phasing Out Fossil Fuels

Detailed plans on how Australia can phase out coal, oil, and gas by 2030, including cutting the massive subsidies to fossil fuel corporations that add up to over $10 billion each year and reinvesting the money into a clean energy transition.

100% Renewable Energy

Aims to reach 100% renewables by 2030, through establishing a new $500 million government authority, ‘Renew Australia’.

Clean Energy Transition Fund

To invest $1 billion into a Clean Energy Transition Fund, which will support fossil fuel industry workers to reskill, relocate or transition to retirement.

Green Energy

To use low cost, green energy to rebuild the manufacturing industry, support new green export industries and bring back jobs that have gone overseas.

Environment Protection Agency

To create an independent Environment Protection Agency to oversee environmental laws that will, for example, extend to the impacts of land clearing and national parks and reserves.

Extinction Crisis

To stop the extinction crisis by setting a goal of zero extinctions by 2030 and investing in a mass greening and restoration program, to ensure we’re protecting habitats for our native animals and plants.

Environmental and Wildlife Restoration

To green Australia and restore wildlife habitat by investing $2 billion each year to planting 2 billion trees by 2030 and to reestablish green spaces in our cities, regions, and suburbs.

Price on Carbon

To restore a price on carbon, similar to the European price, and to drive innovation, clean investment, and emissions reductions right across the entire economy.


Key Takeaways

Ultimately, the Greens aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 63-82% by 2030, based on 2005 levels, and reach net-zero or net negative by 2040.

Unlike the two major parties, the Greens has established a step by step plan for phasing out fossil fuel energy and reaching 100% renewables by 2030, whilst also ensuring a just transition for workers.

It’s also harsher on major polluters, demanding they pay more significant taxes and that their current government subsidies are instead invested into renewable energy.

The Greens has a detailed policy packet for addressing environmental concerns, such as phasing out single-use plastics, investing in sustainable farming practices, and slowing down the mass extinction event occurring in Australia at the moment.

Other Key Parties to Look Out For

One Nation

One Nation is a smaller party but still very loud. Headed by Pauline Hanson, One Nation believes Australia should withdraw from the United Nations Paris Agreement signed in 2016.

It avidly disagrees with cutting greenhouse gas emissions and argues that there’s not enough evidence to suggest that man-made climate change is real, stating proudly that it’s ‘the only political party to question climate science’.

Centre Alliance

Despite being a South Australian focused party, Centre Alliance has some significant environmental and energy policies that it’s campaigning for, including upholding the Paris Agreement, and reducing greenhouse gases by 26-28% on 2005 levels by 2030; in line with the Coalition.

Whilst it’s made no suggestions to phase out coal or gas, it’s asking to move toward a cleaner and more affordable energy future, including implementing an Emissions Intensity Scheme (EIS), and greater accessibility for research into renewable energy and climate change.

Likewise, Centre Alliance seeks to protect groundwater (aquifers, including the Great Artesian Basin) from any adverse impacts of mining and coal seam gas exploration.

Katter’s Australia Party

Another minor party you may have heard of is Katter’s Australia Party (yes, that Bob Katter) which is a QLD focused party.

Katter’s Australia Party hasn’t addressed many climate issues in its policies, instead looking to invest in biofuels and greater gas supply in QLD. However, it’s somewhat encouraging the increased use of renewables, particularly through its campaigning for a solar pumps subsidy scheme for regional QLD.

In terms of environment, it’s looking to manage wild populations of flying foxes and crocodiles.

United Australia Party

It’s pretty difficult to get through an election cycle without seeing an ad for the United Australia Party. This minor party has a few policies that it’s campaigning for this election, however, few are in favour of the environment.

The United Australia Party wants to look into researching nuclear technology as a solution to Australia’s energy problems and invest more into Australian mining infrastructure to increase minerals mined in Australia rather than offshore.

Lambie Network

The Jacqui Lambie Network is another minor party that’s campaigning with a very small number of policies.

These are majorly focused on anti-corruption, pro-veteran support, and increasing Australian manufacturing.

However, despite not having any policies regarding climate and the environment, Jacqui Lambie does have a proven track record of supporting renewable energy, having blocked the Abbott Government from axing the Clean Energy Finance Corporation in 2014.


Rex Patrick

Rex Patrick is a small regional party, focusing once again on South Australia.

Rex Patrick is campaigning for climate action in several ways including; increased bushfire preparedness, greater investments in renewable energy, and electric vehicles, and the development of a new binding and enforceable National Environmental Standards.


Fusion is a small non-parliamentary party that’s heavily campaigning for climate action and is taking a ‘future focused’ approach to its policies.

Some of its key ecological campaigns are focused on ending native logging and broadscale land clearing, ending fossil fuel extraction, incentivising regenerative agricultural practices, better managing watersheds, and restoring the small water cycle.

Animal Justice Party

As the name suggests, the Animal Justice Party is campaigning for extensive animal rights protections in this upcoming election. It also has several policies outlining climate action, the phasing out of fossil fuels, and environmental restoration.

The Indigenous-Aboriginal Party of Australia

The Indigenous-Aboriginal Party of Australia is a small political party that focuses on First Nations people and their rights.

It has some incredibly important policies regarding the climate and environment, including a return to sustainable traditional land management, protecting the Barka and all natural rivers in Australia, and supporting our farmers by better managing water resources.


So there you have it! All the major parties, and a bunch of the minor ones too on their stance and policies surrounding climate and the environment. Hopefully, this helps you know which parties and politicians to vote for when it comes time to Put The Planet First on election day.


Feature photo by Alex Parsons