What comes next for climate action

21.05.19 By

From Amanda McKenzie, Climate Council CEO:

On Sunday morning, I woke up feeling deflated. I had imagined waking up to a new wave of climate action. Instead, the Coalition won the federal election, despite its record of inaction and obfuscation on the climate crisis.

But today, I woke up determined. On the radio, Liberal Senator, Simon Birmingham, was already being asked tough questions about how the Government would address energy and climate change. There is no doubt that climate change was a top issue at this election and the need for action is at the forefront of community consciousness.

And if there’s a silver lining, it was seeing one of the biggest deniers, Tony Abbott, swept away.

Right now, it’s important to reflect on how far we’ve come.

In 2013, Tony Abbott was elected on a platform of abolishing a raft of positive climate change programs. There was considerable climate scepticism across the media. Few state, territory or local governments had meaningful climate policies. Over five years of relentless work, we have elevated climate change to the top of the national agenda, killed off the influence of climate denialism, educated millions and created momentum for strong climate policies across state and local jurisdictions.

Pushing for action on climate change is hard. It can be demoralising, slow and deeply frustrating. And we are up against formidable opponents. For instance, Clive Palmer spent an estimated $60 million on an ad campaign, far greater than the budget of the entire movement of Australian climate charities and campaigners.

But the momentum that we have built in the last few months is striking. Our job now is to keep building pressure. We cannot waver from our goal, but rather double down on reaching out across the community, and pushing for change at all levels of government.

Around the world and in Australia, the impacts of climate change are here now; our reefs are dying, our forests and landscapes are being razed and species are diminishing. Our mission could not be more urgent.

Our work together is more important than ever, and we must expand our strategy, resource our mission and elevate our impact.

The road ahead is going to be tough, and we can’t do it without you.

Today, we are asking you to join us in redoubling our efforts and continuing the fight. Because there is no other choice.

In the weeks and months ahead, we will raise the bar on climate policy by:


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We are an independent organisation that’s powered by our community, and we will keep fighting, despite political uncertainty and setbacks.

Our resilience is renewable. Never losing sight of why we’re tackling the climate crisis is the fuel that will drive us forward. We will regroup, reassess, and reimagine new ways to create our shared future.

I’m heartened that the Climate Council community is standing together, and won’t give up.