Coalition Flunks Climate Election Scorecard

Climate election Australia

Image: ACF

With issues relating to climate change being at the forefront of many Australian voters’ minds this Federal election, how do the three major parties compare?

The Australian Conservation Foundation’s Climate Election Scorecard results are based on measurements of the policies of the Coalition, Labor and the Greens against 50 tests that have been grouped under four main areas – boosting renewables, phasing out coal power, stopping Adani and protecting nature.

Here’s how the three parties scored overall

  • Liberal / National Coalition – 4%
  • Labor – 56%
  • The Greens – 99%

Ramping Up Renewables

The Coalition scored “very poor” here in part due to “piecemeal” promises and a lack of policies on large scale wind and solar power. Labor was rated “fairly good”, with its 50% renewables by 2030 commitment and solar energy programs mentioned; while the Greens were considered “very good” for its goal of 100% renewables by 2030 and net zero climate pollution by 2040.

Ditch Burning Coal

Again the Coalition scored very poor with ACF accusing it of supporting burning more of the stuff. Labor was considered “fairly weak” on this front as its policies would not see coal power phased out quickly enough. The Greens get a tick for supporting a ban on all new projects and phasing out burning coal for electricity generation by 2030.

Stopping Adani

Very poor for the Coalition again given its support for Galilee Basin project/s and the ALP is also judged harshly for its “on the fence” approach. No surprises that the Greens scored highly for its commitment to banning all new coal mines, including Adani’s.

General Environmental Protection

The Coalition gets a bit of a boost here to just “poor” for its policies and funding. Labor gets a “fairly good” for its promised new laws, but ACF says there’s insufficient funding for nature restoration or wildlife recovery. The Greens get a “very good” for their strong laws, the creation of an independent science-based watchdog and a significant boost to related funding.

The summary above barely scratches the surface of the report. As mentioned, all parties’ policies were scored against 50 different elements and you can review all these along with scores for each and justifications here. Scorecards for independents and minor parties can be viewed here.

“If parties want to win the votes of the huge numbers of Australians demanding stronger and more responsible climate action then they will need to stump up plans to accelerate the transition to clean energy, end coal burning and stop the Adani mine,” said ACF’s Chief Executive Officer, Kelly O’Shanassy earlier this month. “Climate damage is here now. This election must be a turning point for climate action.”

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.


  1. Geoff Miell says

    Earlier this month the Berlin-based Energy Watch Group published a 321-page report titled “GLOBAL ENERGY SYSTEM BASED ON 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY: Power, Heat, Transport and Desalination Sectors”.

    The global report was a collaboration between Finland’s LUT University and the Energy Watch Group and marks the finalisation of an intensive, ground-breaking project, that was executed over a span of more than four and a half years.

    The lead author for Energy Watch Group, Hans-Josef Fell, includes in the Foreword:

    “We need to change the conversation: A transition to a global 100% renewable energy system is no longer a matter of technical feasibility or economic viability, but one of political will. Not only do we need ambitious
    targets, but also stable, long-term, and reliable policy frameworks, adapted to regional conditions and environments. We call on the global community to urgently pursue a forward-looking pathway towards net zero GHG emissions by launching a rapid change of the way we use natural resources and provide electricity, heat and transport.”

    Does voting for the Coalition’s (and some other political parties’) policies of more coal and gas extraction mean risking an early demise for Australia’s younger generations (children and grandchildren) due to looming multiple existential threats (including dangerous climate change and energy resource depletion of petroleum oil and fossil natural gas)?

  2. Above, under the heading “General Environmental Protection” is “Labor gets a “fairly good” “.


    The Morrison Government signed off on a controversial uranium mine one
    day before calling the federal election, and did not publicly announce
    the move until the environment department uploaded the approval
    document the day before Anzac Day.

    The Yeelirrie Uranium mine, located 500 kilometres north of Kalgoorlie
    in Western Australia, requires both federal and state approval.

    The state approval of the proposed mine is still being fought in the
    state’s Supreme Court by members of the Tjiwarl traditional owners.

    In 2016, the West Australian Environment Protection Agency advised the
    mine not be approved, concluding it posed too great a risk of
    extinction to some native animals.

    The former Liberal Barnett government controversially approved the
    mine in 2017, just weeks before it lost the West Australian election.

    Canadian company Cameco, the world’s largest uranium producer, is
    seeking to develop the uranium mine, which would cover an area 9km
    long and 1.5km wide.

    It would involve the clearing of up to 2,422 hectares of native vegetation.

    It is also approved to cause groundwater levels to drop by 50cm, and
    they would not completely recover for 200 years, according to Cameco’s
    environmental reports.


    The approval is one of several controversial moves the Government made
    before entering caretaker mode, where such decisions would be
    impossible, including approving Adani’s two groundwater management
    plans for it’s proposed Carmichael coal mine.

    At a federal level, both Labor and the Coalition support the
    development of uranium mining in Australia.

    And, both mines are apparently supported, against the interests of
    Australia, and, involving deliberate gross and irrecoverable harm to
    the environment, by the LNP/ALP coalition.

    It should be noted that “the clearing of up to 2,422 hectares of
    native vegetation” and, “to cause groundwater levels to drop by 50cm,
    and they would not completely recover for 200 years” in Western
    Australia, is like deliberately starting a statewide bushfire –
    burning everything in the state, and, not making any effort to contain
    or put out the fire.

    Apart from deliberately aggravating both a critical water shortage and
    increasingly hot temperatures in Western Australia (to the extent that
    we are forced to consume sewerage, that is forced into the water
    supply, by the state parliament), and, apart from the issue of
    deliberately fuelling more instances like Chernobyl and Fukushima
    (where contaminated, radioactive water is being pumped into the
    Pacific Ocean), and, the deliberate poisoning of Australians, through
    their water supplies being dangerously contaminated with uranium, the
    WA state environment, and, the water table, will never be adle to
    recover from the wilful damage to be caused by the LNP/ALP coalition.

  3. As the above refers to the Adani Carmichael coal mine (which is openly supported by the feral ALP, as a faction of the LNP), here is something to think about, of the policies of the LNP/ALP, regarding that mine.

    I was inspired to consider a particular comparison, given that
    we have this last week, had (25 April) ANZAC Day, commemmorating Australia’s involvement in the First World War.

    Some interesting statistics that I have found, are:

    the estimated total deaths of Australians, during and due to World War
    1, is about 60,000.

    the estimated total deaths of Australians, during and due to World War
    2, is about 40,000.

    the estimated total deaths incurred in the event known as “the
    September 11 attacks” is about 3,000.

    the estimated death toll due to coal burning in China (and, only in
    China) in 2013, is about 366,000.

    (from Harvard University) is

    In      China,  recent  estimates       of      coal    linked  premature       mortality       were    put     at      roughly 1       death   for
    every   10,000  tons    of      coal    burned  –       366     thousand        deaths  per     year    and     3.7     billion tons    of      coal    burned. If      a
    similar ratio   applied to      Vietnam (this   is      a       supposition,    not     a       fact),  deaths  from    coal    would   rise    from    4800
    in      2016    to      12,100  in      2025    as      coal    consumption     rose    from    48      million tons    to      121     million tons.   Assigning       a
    value    to      a       life    is      as      much    a       political       as      a       technical     
    exercise,        but     one     academic        paper   estimated       a
    “statistical    life”   in      China   was     worth   $58,000 to      $98,000 in      2000    constant        prices  based   on      willingness     to
    pay      for     cancer  prevention      or      cure. 
    (     )               It
    would   be      perhaps 70%     higher  now     if      inflation       were    considered.     If      levels  in      Vietnam were    now     between
    $50     and     $85     thousand,       then    the     annual  mortality       cost    would   be      $0.6    billion to      $1      billion a       year    by      2025    –

    (I apologise for the formatting – it is the source document’s
    formatting, frustrating copying and pasting)


    Adani Mining chief executive officer Lucas Dow said the mine would
    initially begin on a small scale and “ramp up” to a capacity of 27.5
    million tonnes a year — less than half the size of the approved

    And, at

    The Carmichael coal mine is a proposed thermal coal mine in the north
    of the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland, Australia. Mining is
    planned to be conducted by both open-cut and underground methods.[1]
    The mine is proposed by Adani Mining, a wholly owned subsidiary of
    India’s Adani Group. The development was initially intended to
    represent an AU$16.5 billion investment[2], however, after being
    refused financing by over 30 financial institutions worldwide, Adani
    announced in 2018 that the mining operation would be downsized and
    self-funded to AU$2bn.[3]

    At peak capacity the mine would produce 60 million tonnes of coal a
    year, much of it “low quality, high ash”.[4] In court, Adani said it
    expects the mine to produce 2.3 billion tonnes over 60 years.[5] It
    would be the largest coal mine in Australia and one of the largest in
    the world.[6] The mine would be the first of a number of large mines
    proposed for the Galilee Basin and would facilitate their development.

    Also, at

    2018 National Road Toll: fewer road deaths, but worrying trends continue
    By David Bonnici, 08 Jan 2019 Car News
    82 fewer people died on Australian roads in 2018, however bad driver
    behaviour continues to be the biggest killer
    Last year saw 1144 deaths on Australia’s roads, 82 fewer than in 2017,
    with Victoria and Western Australia registering their lowest road toll
    since records began.


    Incredibly, failure to wear a seatbelt accounted for 27 percent of
    Queensland’s 246 road deaths, up from 26 percent in 2017 despite the
    Queensland Government’s vow to re-educate drivers about belting up.

    Now, the deductions from all of that information, are, as follows.

    1. The deaths attributable to buring coal in China, in 2013, are
    six times as many as the total deaths of Australians, that were
    atrributable to World War 1, and, nine times as many as the total
    deaths of Australians, that were attributable to World War 2.

    2.The rate of deaths in China, caused by coal being burned, is one
    death per ten thousand tons of coal burnt. The scaled down Adani coal
    mine, at intended reduced production of 27.5 million tons per year,
    would cause 2750 deaths per year, close enough to being the same as
    committing the “September 11 attacks”, every year; 2.4 times the 2018
    total road toll for Australia, every year, and, over seven times the
    2018 annual road toll for Qyueensland, every year. 2750/365=7.5
    (approx), so, they would be killing an average of 7.5 people, every
    day of their “scaled down” production. Of course, if the mine would be
    increased (which would not be surprising for a company that cheats on
    its taxes), “unofficially”, to its desired production of 60 million
    tons per year, those death rate comparative ratios (and, the total
    number of deliberate killings), would be more than doubled.

    3. If the mortality cost (and, only the mortality cost – not including
    non-fatal medical injuries) for 121 million tons of coal, is “$0.6
    billion to $1 billion” (in USD, therefore, to be multiplied by a
    factor of 1.6, to convert to AUD), which becomes about 1,000,000,000
    to 1,600,000,000AUD, then, for the 27.5million tons production level,
    121/27.5 = 4.4, so, 1,000,000,000/4.4 = 227million AUD, as the lower
    range extremity of the mortality cost per year, for the 2,000,000,000
    AUD investment. As they evade taxes, it would be assumed that they
    would refuse to cover the mortality costs – at least 227 millioan AUD
    per year, over the 60 years expected lifetime (or, double that
    expected lifetime, if they can keep it going) of the mine.

    5. With the expected total production of coal from the mine, over its
    “lifetime” (should that be deathtime), being “2.3 billion tonnes”, at
    an estimated killing rate of one death per ten thousand tons, as a
    “billion” is generally misrepresenting a thousand million, rather than
    a trye billion, that means 2,300,000,000, that means that they intend
    to kill at least 230,000 people, over the lifetime/deathtime of the
    mine. That is almost six times as many as the total deaths of
    Australians during World War 2.

    6. So, the Adani Carmichael coal mine – the coal mine, alone, with the
    approval of the LNP/ALP, is intended to kill as many people as six
    times the total death toll of Australians during World War 2, at the
    rate of one to two sets of “September 11 attacks” per year.

    THAT is an extremely significant aspect of the Adani Carmichael coal
    mine, which should be heavily emphasised, during this federal election

    And, of course, it leads to the question as to whether, in the
    circumstances, the members of the outgoing LNP federal government,
    should be prosecuted in the International Criminal Court, for a crime
    against humanity, for approving the Adani Carmichael coal mine, in the
    context of the information above.

    Regarding that, is, of note, at

    Total deaths in Auschwitz, 1940–1945    200,000–205,000

    (that is only the registered deaths at Auschwitz)

    which would be less than the deaths to be caused due to the Adani
    Carmichael coal mine.

    Which is all, something else to consider, whent thinking about the Adani Carmichael coal mine, which is sopported by both the LNP and its industrial faction – the ALP.

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