Media Releases | 16th May, 2016

Polls show voters demand election action on global warming: volunteers take it to the streets to talk climate

Environment groups representing more than 1.5 million Australians will be campaigning together this election in an unprecedented coordinated effort, calling for all candidates and parties to have strong policies to address global warming and transition to clean energy.

The government has thus far attempted to avoid climate change as an election issue, but polling conducted last week shows it will be a vote-shifter.

Recent polling by ReachTel shows Australians want the next government to phase out coal-burning power stations and transition to renewable energy.

Key facts:

• 84.2 per cent of Australians think the next federal government must do at least the same or more to address global warming.

• 66.9 per cent of Australians would be more likely to vote for a party that created stronger national environment laws.

• 64 per cent of Australians would be more likely to vote for a party that has a plan to source 100 per cent of our energy from renewable sources.

• 56.1 per cent of Australians would be more likely to vote for a party that has a plan to phase out coal-burning power stations.

• Voters who have yet to make up their mind are more likely (by up to 11 percentage points) to support parties with strong climate policies such as a transition to 100% renewables, to end dirty coal power, and to protect the Great Barrier Reef.

The coalition of environmental groups including the Australian Conservation Foundation, Environment Victoria, the Wilderness Society, GetUp, the Australian Marine Conservation Society,, Greenpeace and the Australian Youth Climate Coalition is working in 25 seats, including the Prime Minister’s seat of Wentworth, the Victorian seats of McEwen and Deakin, as well as Brisbane and Bonner in Queensland and the South Australian seat of Hindmarsh.

By election day it’s expected their supporters will have had more than 130,000 conversations about climate. They will have knocked on at least 30,000 doors, made at least 100,000 phone calls, and held more than 100 election-focused community events across the country. Groups will also be enrolling thousands of young people who are particularly concerned about the impacts of global warming.

The collaboration’s goal is not to tell people who to vote for, but to advocate for all parties to have good climate policies.


“The Great Barrier Reef is fighting for its life – and this election will decide whether it survives. The majority of Australians love the Reef and want to see it protected, in their lifetime and for generations to come. The next Australian government must do a lot more to ensure our natural wonder isn’t ruined by global warming and the mining and burning of fossil fuels.”

Darren Kindleysides, Director, Australian Marine Conservation Society.

“Young people are seriously concerned about the mining and burning of fossil fuels that is driving dangerous global warming, risking the Great Barrier Reef and our future. We know this means we need to shift to clean energy but the Government has held us back and if we’re not enrolled to vote we’ll miss out on having our say.”

Kirsty Albion, National Director, Australian Youth Climate Coalition.

“The transition to 100 per cent clean, renewable power is happening now – without strong policies that support an orderly transition Australia will miss out on our $800 billion slice of the global renewables investment boom. Australians are already voting with their feet, with 1.5 million households experiencing the benefits of clean energy, and we’re confident that people will express their support for solar and renewable energy at the ballot box.”

Claire O’Rourke, National Director, Solar Citizens.

“We are urging all parties to set out their plans to get Australia off coal, into renewables and to make our use of energy much more efficient.”

Kelly O’Shanassy, CEO, Australian Conservation Foundation.

“The Prime Minister has spoken about the need to transition the economy from one dependent on mining. It is clear from this poll that an increasing number of Australians support that goal on climate change grounds. It is also clear that the vast majority of Australians recognise that we need new and powerful laws to manage that transition and to protect the places we love from the impacts of climate change.”

Lyndon Schneiders, National Director, the Wilderness Society.

“From the thousands of conversations we’ve been having, voters in key Victorian seats like Deakin and Dunkley are absolutely ready for the next Australian government to begin phasing out coal burning power stations and embrace a renewable energy future. It’s time both major parties caught up with where the community is at.”

Mark Wakeham, CEO, Environment Victoria.


For further information and comment:

Mark Wakeham, Environment Victoria CEO

Office: (03) 9341 8127 Mobile: 0439 700 501