Climate questions for Wills Candidates 2013 Federal Election
As well as the Meet the candidates Public Forum on Monday 19 August 2013, Climate Action Moreland have put together a list of question that we would like a response to from each candidate. The list is below. We will publish written candidate responses emailed to us on our website.
Responses have been received from and uploaded in PDF format:
- Adrian Trajstman – Australian Sex Party
- Margarita Windisch – Socialist Alliance
- Tim Read – The Greens
- Kelvin Thomson – Labor Party (Federal Government Policy)
Questions on climate change
- With scientists forecasting substantial sea level rise this century, many people from low lying coastal regions of south East Asia and islands in the south Pacific will be seeking asylum in Australia as climate refugees. What should Australia’s response be?
- The Australian government has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 5% below 2000 levels by 2020. However, under the emissions trading scheme, Australia does not need to reduce local emissions, but can purchase emission reduction certificates from overseas.
- What do you think Australia’s emission reduction targets should be by 2020? 2030? 2040?
- Should these targets be conditional on the actions of other countries?
- How would these emission reductions be achieved? Could you please describe how the emission reduction schemes that your party proposes will work in practice?
- What is your position on whether Australia should be required to reduce its local emissions rather than purchasing certificates from overseas?
- How do you propose to reduce emissions produced in Australia?
- Australia is regarded as particularly vulnerable to climate change. Given the lack of action to date, it is inevitable that Australians will be subject to serious impacts, including adverse health impacts and increased mortality due to rising temperatures and heatwaves, changes in rainfall and water availability for drinking and agriculture. What are your policies to reduce the impact of climate change on Australians?
- Heatwave induced mortality is expected to increase in inner urban areas like the Wills electorate due to the interaction between climate change driven increasing temperatures and the Urban Heat Island effect. While 173 people lost their lives in the Black Saturday Bushfires, 374 people died in Victoria due to the heatwave according to Victoria’s chief health officer, Dr John Carnie. The 2013 State of Australian Cities report found that heat related deaths are expected to quadruple in number by 2050. What is your response to this public health threat?
- Transport is a large contributor to climate change. What are your policies to transform the transport sector to ensure it is sustainable?
- Approximately $10 billion is paid out each year to subsidize the use of fossil fuels, including in aviation, which helps to keep the price of flying low. Green groups have proposed that instead of subsidizing activities that contribute to climate change, we should be funding technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions including energy efficiency and renewable energy. What are your policies on these subsidies to fossil fuels? If you propose to remove these subsidies, please describe how you would do so and over what time frame. What are your policies on redirecting these funds to technologies that do not contribute to climate change?
- The burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) are major contributors to climate change leading to a substantial carbon bubble in conflict with emission reduction targets, according to the Carbon Tracker Initiative, Grantham Institute, and Australia’s Climate Institute. What are your policies regarding the following: coal exports; use of coal for power generation; use of natural gas for power generation? What would be your strategies for phasing these out?
- Households and business can reduce their carbon emissions through increased energy efficiency, solar water heating and generating their own renewable electricity by installing solar panels. Do you support these measures and if so, what are your policies to ensure these measures become widespread? Do you personally use solar hot water and/or solar panels or buy Green Power?
- Some councils, including Moreland, have announced that they are carbon neutral. However, this has been achieved partly through the purchase of offsets from overseas projects. What is your position on councils, businesses etc using offsets to claim carbon neutrality?
- Food waste is a major source of carbon and methane emissions. What are your policies to reduce food waste and reduce emissions from food waste? Do you personally compost waste food?
- Do you know that in Wills we have platypus in Merri Creek? Eastern Grey Kangaroos visit the Fawkner grasslands? We have rare plant species along our creek corridors? Funding for biodiversity has recently been slashed by the federal government. What is your policy on federal government biodiversity funding and species and eco-system conservation?