Climate change is being buried this election. We asked scientists to rate the major parties’ policies – ABC News

Climate change is being buried this election. We asked scientists to rate the major parties' policies - ABC News

“Not serious and lacking detail even on their best projects being announced. Obviously, they are divided and unable to make a serious contribution.”

Lesley Hughes — not an effective climate policy

“The Morrison government’s climate policy can be summarised pretty quickly and simply really, in that the Morrison government has no effective federal climate policy. [They] are actively supporting the expansion of fossil fuel production while at the same time banking on … technology that may or may not materialise sometime in the next three decades to solve the greatest threat of our time: climate change. That’s a hell of a gamble.”

Nerilie Abram — lacks ambition

“It has lots of catchphrases designed to make it seem like they are doing enough, but it lacks any real ambition and is not based on the scientific evidence.”

Andy Pitman  difficult to assess without targets

“A 2035 target should be part of the equation in my view, and without that target, the viability of the Liberal strategies is difficult to assess.”

Peter Newman — a solid start

“A very solid start with the potential to make a real difference. There is confidence in this climate policy as it’s been taken seriously with a very good quantitative basis to the next steps, which can put us clearly into being Paris-compliant. There could be much more of a target, but it’s still up there with most progressive nations.”

Lesley Hughes — a good start

“It’s a good start, but it could certainly be more ambitious. Under the ALP plan, renewable energy (like solar and wind) is expected to power 82 per cent of our electricity needs by 2030. So there’s a focus on transitioning the grid to renewables. Notably, the modeling will lead to significant jobs growth and private investment.”

Nerilie Abram — promising elements

“This policy has some very promising elements, including a strong focus on emission reductions this decade … that is certainly what is needed if we are going to tackle the climate change problem.”

Andy Pitman — not particularly ambitious but …

“It balances what is electorally palatable with meeting the 2C limit under Paris. It is not particularly ambitious but, given where we are, it is probably about as ambitious as can be achieved without a very great deal of courage.”

Peter Newman — strong, though lacking sophistication

“This has a series of policies for adaptation and mitigation that are quantified, though not with the sophistication of the Reputex [ALP] modelling. It shows how they will reach 100 per cent by 2035 and then by 2050, it goes into negative emissions by regenerating the landscape with carbon farming. However, it is not modelled showing delivery. It is simply straight lines from now to a precipitous drop to 100 per cent in the next 12 years. They have some transport policies including public transport, but in the end, they are focused on decarbonising power. The repair of the landscape is a strong part of the policy, but lacks detail.”

Lesley Hughes — a lot to like, with some gaps

“There is a lot to like about this policy. It’s ambitious and it takes tangible and urgent steps to reduce emissions quickly and to rewire and electrify Australia. It would also see big polluters having to pay for the damage caused by their emissions contributions. However, it does have some gaps: it does not cover Australia’s responsibility to support vulnerable communities abroad with adapting to the impacts of climate change. The plan could also be strengthened with clearer steps and targets for phasing out gas production and exports from Australia.”

Nerilie Abram — science based, but lacks detail

“The aims of this policy are science based, but the plan lacks the level of detail and modeling of the major parties. The Greens, together with independent candidates, could have an important role to play in forcing the future government to raise ambitions, so that Australia’s emission reductions efforts this decade happen with the speed and scale that is needed.”

Andy Pitman — broadly consistent with science, but …

“I think the Green’s climate policies are broadly consistent with the science — the challenge is their implementation and that needs to be done urgently, and politically feasibly.”