The Greens

Test 1. Policies to ensure clean renewables power 100% of Australia’s electricity by 2035, and 100% of all Australia’s energy before 2050?

Score

5 / 5

Comment

Renew Australia Plan would ensure that energy generation is at least 90% renewable by 2030. The plan acknowledges that it is likely 100% of our energy needs for our homes, businesses and industry will come from clean power and storage and Renew Australia sets up for electrification of transport. The Australian Greens support establishing a new $500 million government authority – RenewAustralia – tasked with planning and driving the transition to a new clean energy system including pipeline of renewable energy projects and closure of coal fired power plants. This will leverage $5 billion on construction in new energy generation over the next four years. The Greens would introduce a 50 per cent refundable tax credit for individuals to assist with the cost of household solar energy storage systems. Individuals would get up to half the cost of their battery storage system covered, and the program would run for five years with the credit tapering off reflecting the projected decline in battery storage costs.

The Greens also introduce a Low Income Solar Storage (LISS) grant to be administered by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

The Greens commit to get 31,000 more electric vehicles on the road by 2021 and 330 more charging stations around the country by:

  • Funding free registration for the first five years after purchase of a fully electric vehicle
  • Providing $151 million in grants to support local governments, state governments and car park operators to install electric vehicle charging infrastructure
  • Providing $50 million in grants to support government and non-government organisations to meet the gap between the cost on electric vehicle and a conventional vehicle
  • Increasing the luxury car tax to 50 per cent for conventional fossil fuel vehicles over $100,000 to provide to drive consumer choices towards electric vehicles
  • Including firms involved in electric vehicle manufacturing in the government’s Automotive Transformation Scheme to grow the jobs and skills in the new electric vehicle industry.

Source 1, Source 2, Source 3


Test 2. Double the energy productivity of Australia’s economy by 2030?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

The Greens would move to ensure that energy generation is at least 90 per cent renewable by 2030 and our energy efficiency is doubled. Source


Test 3. Retain the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and Australian Renewable Energy Agency with existing or additional resources?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

The Greens would extend and increase the finance mandate of the CEFC and increase guaranteed funding for CEFC from $10 billion over five years to $30 billion over ten. This would increase spending from an average of $2 billion each year, to $3 billion each year. Introduced Motion into the Senate that "resolves that the $1.5 billion of currently legislated funding for ARENA for the financial years 2016-17 to 2021-22 will not be reduced." Source

Related to ARENA, will push for the $100m federal grant required to make a solar thermal plant in Port Augusta a reality. Source


Test 4. Introduce vehicle fuel pollution standards by 2017 to bring Australia into line with EU standards?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

The Greens have introduced a Bill to implement mandatory vehicle fuel efficiency standards, the Motor Vehicle Standards (Cheaper Transport) Bill 2014. "Our plan to Renew Australia will also allow us to join the world in transitioning from petroleum to electric vehicles and take advantage of connecting our electricity and transport systems." Source 1, Source 2


Test 5. Stop public subsidies to polluting fossil fuel industries?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

The Australian Greens oppose fossil fuel subsidies and donations. Seven-point plan to revitalise reef and stop coal mines includes commitment to end fuel tax credits and apply funding to reef health and transitioning workers. Source 1, Source 2


Test 6. Phase out uranium mining?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

Support phase out of uranium mining. Source


Test 7. Advance a new approach for the responsible and transparent management of Australia’s radioactive waste?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

Support full review of domestic waste management options. Source


Test 8. Stop new uranium sales and nuclear cooperation agreements?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

Opposed to new agreements and to review existing agreements. Source


Test 9. Set pollution targets to progressively reduce our pollution and enable Australia to reach net zero climate pollution by 2050 at the latest?

Score

5 / 5

Comment

Committed to reduce emissions by 40-50 per cent on 2000 levels by 2020. Resolved that global warming should be stabilised within 1.5 degrees. Nation-wide pollution cuts of 60-80 per cent on 2000 levels by 2030 and net-zero pollution by 2040. Source


Test 10. Policies and programs that are effective, durable, scalable and able to achieve the goal of reducing Australia’s climate pollution to net zero by 2050 at the latest?

Score

5 / 5

Comment

Announced Renew Australia Plan to achieve net zero by 2040 to: Power Australia with at least 90 per cent renewable energy by 2030, by direct government commissioning and ownership, reverse auctions and increasing the Renewable Energy Target; increase Clean Energy Finance to $30 billion, $3 billion per year for ten years, to drive more change and private investment; and to frame a national energy grid to make planning clean energy possible. Also states that carbon pricing is an essential long‐term policy. Source


Test 11. Keep and adequately fund the independent Climate Change Authority, or similar independent authority that advises the government on climate change?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

No formal policy found however, after resignation of CCA Chair, the Greens called on the Abbott Government with Notice of Motion in Parliament to abandon plans to abolish CCA and to appoint a new chair and board members, who understand climate science, and ensure Board has quorate. Source


Test 12. Commit our fair share of funding – $550 million in 2016-17, growing to $1.6 billion by 2020 – to the Green Climate Fund?

Score

2 / 3

Comment

The following quote is attributable to Senator Larissa Waters, the Australian Greens climate change spokesperson: "The Australian Greens are committed to delivering public and private climate finance in line with Australia’s fair share of the $100 billion pledged in the Paris Agreement. The Australian Greens support targeted assistance, particularly in the Asia Pacific region, for climate change adaptation measures, so communities can remain in their own countries and maintain cultural cohesion. Climate finance must not be diverted from existing foreign aid budgets, which have already suffered savage cuts."


Test 13. Provide a plan to phase out Australia’s coal-fired power stations, starting with the dirtiest, most inefficient and polluting power stations?

Score

5 / 5

Comment

Greens policy states that "to avoid catastrophic global warming and stabilise warming at 1.5 degrees, Australia must cut pollution rapidly to achieve net zero pollution by 2040." Plan to implement pollution intensity standards to enable the gradual, staged closure of coal fired power stations, starting with Australia’s dirtiest – Hazelwood. Plan includes managing the phase out of fossil fuel power stations by working with the energy market regulators to ensure coal and gas plants are switched off at times which ensure no threat to electricity supply. Coal closure plans support renewable energy target with closure managed across states by 2030. Source


Test 14. Ensure no new coal mines or coal mine extensions are approved.

Score

5 / 5

Comment

Renew Australia Plan includes: "Combined with other measures like a carbon price to drive innovations in agriculture and industry, stopping new polluting coal mines and new unconventional gas, and investing in world-class public transport and energy efficiency, Australia will be on track to play our part in stabilising global warming at 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial temperatures."

The Greens' seven-point plan includes a $1 billion Clean Energy Transition Fund to help workers exit the coal industry. It invests in the health of the Great Barrier Reef and raises revenue by placing a levy on coal exports and ending tax-free fuel for mining companies. It puts an urgent brake on global warming by banning new coal and gas projects, investing in large-scale clean energy projects and implementing a carbon price that captures those exporting coal and gas pollution to the world. Source


Test 15. Allocate funding for social and economic transition plans to retrain people who work in regions affected by the closure of coal operations, providing new opportunities for these communities?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

Committed to create a $250 million Clean Energy Transition Fund to assist coal workers and communities with the transition. Source


Test 16. Introduce a federal plan to bolster mine rehabilitation securities from liable companies?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

Commitment to "support the inclusion in all new mining proposals of a fully costed and funded allocation for the restoration and rehabilitation of the impacted areas to world's best practice standards, verified by open and transparent means. An urgent national audit of all coal mines, identifying the gap between the value rehabilitation bonds held by the state or territory government and the true cost of rehabilitation. This amount will be held on trust by the federal government." Source 1, Source 2


Test 17. Leverage investment and increase the amount of carbon securely stored in biodiverse natural landscapes in line with the goal of net zero carbon pollution by 2050?

Score

4 / 5

Comment

The Greens have committed to "a goal of net-zero climate pollution by 2040 which will necessarily include significant land sector carbon storage."

The Greens have committed to re-establishing and double funding for the Biodiversity Fund with $2 billion in funding over 6 years and the first $1 billion to be injected immediately.

The Biodiversity Fund will focus on projects with a double benefit – both carbon storage and biodiversity outcomes. Source 1Source 2


Test 18. Maintain funding for the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

Will "fund adaptation research by keeping the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility and triple current funding,
which is due to expire in 2017, with funding of $10 million per year." Source.


Test 19. Introduce a national strategy and standards for sustainable and resilient cities and urban centres?

Score

2 / 3

Comment

The Greens policy references national standards and development of new clean transport infrastructure, and includes a set of sustainable planning and transport principles and aims.

Commit to transform cities with a 'Cities Greenway' initiative which includes to:

  • Introduce a new $40m buy-back fund to purchase areas of high conservation value; 
  • Provide $2m to assist states develop Greenway plans; 
  • Introduce a moratorium on clearing of urban bushland; 
  • Introduce a community grants scheme worth $8m; 
  • Add the Greenways network to our National Reserve System; and 
  • Establish an Urban biodiversity Taskforce.

Released 'Clean Transport Future' plan including dedicated $10 billion funding over four years, to prioritise public transport that Australians need to fix traffic congestion, reduce pollution and make our cities and towns healthy and liveable.

The Greens full clean transport plan will also:

  • Establish an annual $250m Active Transport Fund for cycling and walking infrastructure to cut pollution, reduce traffic congestion and encourage physical activity. 
  • Fast track high speed rail.
  • Commit an additional $500 million to shift freight onto rail through new rail freight lines.
  • Invest an additional $250m in arterial road works to maximise efficient traffic flow and enable better bus services to suburban and outer-urban communities.
  • Commit to $300m in additional funding for the Black Spot road safety program. 
  • Accelerate the electric vehicle revolution through $201 million in infrastructure and fleet grants, and five years’ worth of free registration for new fully electric vehicles.

Source 1Source 2, Source 3


Test 20. Provide funding support for state and local government implementation of adaptation strategies?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

'Living with Global Warming' plan includes commitment to provide $370 million over four years to:

  • Double the number of paid firefighters by 2030 with an initial $120 million over the first four years of a 10 year plan. 
  • Fund natural disaster preparedness such as disaster proofing infrastructure, building resilience and supporting the SES, with $200 million over four years by replacing the lapsed National Disaster Resilience Program with a new - National Partnership Agreement for Climate Adaptation between federal, State and Territory governments.
  • Fund adaptation research by keeping the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility and triple current funding which is due to expire in 2017 with funding of $10 million per year. 
  • Plan for rising seas, with $5 million in funding per year to support State and Local governments to plan for the already inevitable sea level rise. 
  • A thermal coal export levy of $3 per tonne, raising $650 million per year, will help to pay for these initiatives to account for damage caused by the burning of coal.

Source


Test 21. Provide an effective national system of nature protection laws to protect and improve the health of Australia’s air, land, water and biodiversity by December 2018?

Score

5 / 5

Comment

Commitment to "clearly define in domestic law all of Australia's responsibilities under international environmental treaties to which we are a signatory, and to contribute to global sustainability through support of international cooperation on environmental issues. Full integration of ecological sustainability and the precautionary principle, into all decision-making that impacts our biodiversity. The introduction of national measures to end broad scale clearing and incremental loss of native vegetation including the degradation of native forests." 

Greens have committed to an extensive policy on environmental law reform, including establishing a new national Environment Act, ending RFA's, protecting critical habitats, controlling land clearing and instituting a climate trigger.

Source 1, Source 2


Test 22. Expand Australian government oversight of climate issues, water resources, native vegetation and reserves within 12 months of taking office?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

Commitment to strengthen and expand the Commonwealth powers to protect and enhance Australia’s environment and heritage including broader oversight of state government decisions with national environmental significance. Source


Test 23. Ensure the federal government has direct responsibility to regulate projects that impact on matters of national importance?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

Opposed to the hand-over of Commonwealth powers to state, territory and local governments.  Source 1 , Source 2 , Source 3


Test 24. Establish and adequately resource an independent statutory authority to administer our national environmental law by December 2018?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

Commitment to "establish a national ecological sustainability commission to focus on issues of ecological integrity.

Commitment to "accurate and independent environmental, health and social impact assessments addressing the true environmental, social and economic costs and benefits, rigorously applied and implemented on all mining proposals and projects."

"Rigorous independent ongoing monitoring and compliance with undertakings and legal obligations of all mining projects including during the rehabilitation phase."

Commitment to establish an independent Environmental Protection Authority. Source 1, Source 2, Source 3


Test 25. Ensure greater public access and accountability under national environmental law, including open standing provisions and merits review of decisions within 12 months of taking office?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

The Greens are on the record opposing the repeal of s487 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. Policy to strengthen rights for landholders regarding access, negotiation, appeal and compensation rights in all their dealings with mining and resources companies.

Commitment to "increase opportunities for public participation in decision-making and to break down the inequalities of wealth and power which inhibit participatory democracy. Parliaments should serve the best interests of all Australians; transparency and accountability in government decision-making at all levels are essential for democracy to flourish. Community participation requires citizens and groups to be fully informed on how to participate, with transparent and fair mechanisms utilised to translate community views into changes in policy and law. Community participation in planning should be enshrined in law and be an ongoing process." 

Currently support merits review and open standing in cases under national environment law and protection from court costs in public interest cases. Source 1, Source 2, Source 3Source 4


Test 26. Commit $1 billion annually by 2018 in a National Environment Fund?

Score

5 / 5

Comment

Commitment to "reserve systems that are comprehensive, adequate and representative of all of our unique ecosystems, supported by a nation-wide approach to protection and restoration of Australia's natural environment. A comprehensive, adequate and representative (CAR) system of reserves for Australia's unique and high conservation value freshwater ecosystems. A comprehensive, adequate and representative system of terrestrial, freshwater and marine protected areas, including all remaining areas of high conservation value, managed primarily to protect and restore biodiversity. The development, funding and implementation of recovery plans for threatened and endangered species and ecological communities, and threat abatement plans for nationally listed threatened processes."

Committed to $722 million for Landcare over forward estimates.

Commitment for a $2.6 billion environment funding package, including establishing a $130m Threatened Species Plan to map and protect critical habitats and re-establishing the Biodiversity Fund with $2 billion to invest in projects with biodiversity and carbon co-benefits.

Committed to increase government funding for water quality pollution control to a total of $2 billion over five years (2016-17 to 2020-21) including:

  • $500 million in new federal grant funding over five years to assist farmers to transition to more sustainable practices in relation to water quality pollution, to fund ‘landscape repair’ projects like revegetation, wetlands restoration and combating gully erosion; and
  • $1.2 billion Reef Repair Loan Facility over 5 years to help farmers transition to low-pollution farming methods. GBRMPA would supervise the facility, but would draw on the expertise of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

Current projected funding for water quality initiatives totals $370 million over the next 5 years including $185 million from the federal government under the reef water quality programs and the Reef Trust and $185 million from the Queensland state government.

Committed to implementing a legal cap on water quality pollution on a catchment basis, which gradually decreases over the next 10 years. Will develop world-class water quality monitoring and reporting – with $15 million over the next four years would be for GBRMPA specifically to invest in robust, property-level water quality monitoring, modelling.

 Source 1, Source 2


Test 27. Rule out logging, mining and other unsustainable land and sea uses in Australia’s World Heritage Areas?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

Commitment to the immediate protection of old-growth and high conservation value forests. The prohibition of mineral exploration and mining including the extraction of petroleum and gas, in residential areas, good quality agricultural land and terrestrial and marine nature conservation reserves, national parks, wilderness areas and other areas of high nature conservation value. Source


Test 28. Introduce national policies and regulations to protect and restore ecosystems along the Great Dividing Range, including establishing the Great Forest National Park?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

Commitment to "an immediate end to broad-scale land clearing to protect biodiversity and to arrest soil loss, river degradation and salinity. The immediate protection of old-growth and high conservation value forests. The management of re-growth forest to an old growth state to maximise biodiversity, carbon uptake and water yield, and for recreation and tourism, which are more valuable outcomes than logging. The revegetation of land, including salt affected land, with biodiverse native vegetation which can provide carbon sinks, hydrological management and biodiversity restoration. The protection, restoration and extension of the habitats of Australia’s native animals including marine and riverine species. The establishment of evidence based buffer zones in high conservation areas, with linkage and restoration of ecological fragments on public and private land." Committed to the establishment of the GFNP. Source 1, Source 2


Test 29. Create new tax incentives for the management and restoration of ecosystems on private land?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

Policy states, "The tax regime can be a powerful tool to transform the economy using appropriate incentives and penalties that reward socially and ecologically responsible effort. A shift in taxation that helps restructure the economy by rewarding productive activity that avoids pollution, degradation of natural resources and rent seeking."

The Greens have committed to use incentives in the tax system for private landholders to improve the health and extent of ecosystems under their stewardship, and to protect land in perpetuity.

Source 


Test 30. Increase funding for Indigenous Protected Areas, scaling up to $30 million per annum by 2020 as part of a National Environment Fund?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

The Greens have committed to a $2b Biodiversity Fund that will support a program to expand and better manage our World Heritage Areas, national parks, Indigenous Protected Areas and private land conservation. Source


Test 31. Commit to supporting the employment of 5,000 Indigenous rangers by 2025?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

Explicit commitment to increase funding for Indigenous Ranger program by $100m over next four years and to double ranger positions within a decade. (Caring for Remote Australia Policy) Source 1, Source 2


Test 32. Provide commitments to the expansion of sustainable tourism and renewable energy initiatives across northern Australia to benefit local communities?

Score

2 / 3

Comment

General support/vision for Northern Australian conservation and hybrid economy with critique of NAIF criteria, plus April 2016 commitment to a $1b Clean Energy Transition Fund to help workers exit the coal industry, but no explicit detail on alternative NAIF criteria. Source 1, Source 2


Test 33. Deliver the commitments made under the Murray Darling Basin Plan on time and in full, including the delivery of outcomes equivalent to 3,200 gigalitres in environmental water?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

Commitment to "planning and management of the equitable use of Murray-Darling Basin water resources, that limits extraction to environmentally sustainable levels, maintains the health and resilience of the river and its ecosystems, and supports sustainable food production and rural enterprises for the long-term viability and wellbeing of basin communities." Source


Test 34. Provide a plan to reward private landholders for managing floodplains to produce environmental benefits for the river system?

Score

0 / 1

Comment

No formal policy or commitment


Test 35. Adequately resource the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder to build and deliver its critically important portfolio of environment water?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

The Greens have committed to $122 million for the CEWH over forward estimates. Source


Test 36. Support and fund a science-driven program to eradicate invasive European carp in the Murray-Darling Basin?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

The Greens have committed $15 million for a science driven program for the eradication of invasive carp." Source


Test 37. Revitalise national water reform in Australia and set out a road-map for the recognition of Indigenous water rights?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

Committed to "the inclusion of sustainable water use as a compulsory element of planning in Commonwealth, state or territory water reform legislation and agreements, including for new developments, mining, infrastructure and agricultural projects. The reinstatement of the National Water Commission to provide expertise on the health of Australia's water infrastructure. Integrated national catchment management to ensure sufficient environmental water flows in all catchments." 

Committed to "continue to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples to advocate for their increased involvement in water catchment planning and management, and in the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander water rights and the allocation of water for cultural flows."

Source


Test 38. Introduce a well-resourced and complete system of annual national and regional environmental accounts by 2019?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

Stated that measures of national progress should include indicators of ecological sustainability and social wellbeing. The integration of broad measures of genuine national progress into the national accounts including the production of a comprehensive national balance sheet.

Committed to a national EPA that would "oversee timely delivery of comprehensive national environmental accounts and sustainability reports to Parliament."

Source


Test 39. Expand the mandate of the Productivity Commission to explicitly include environmental issues?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

Notes that an independent EPA will conduct inquiries and advise government and the wider community on major national environmental policy issues.

Protecting our Precious Places policy states: "We already have independent expert bodies, like the Productivity Commission, to advise on economic matters. Now is the time to extend this principle to the environment that sustains us." Source


Test 40. Introduce transparent and independent analysis of the social, economic and environmental costs and benefits of all major projects by 2017?

Score

0.5 / 1

Comment

Commitment to accurate and independent environmental, health and social impact assessments addressing the true environmental, social and economic costs and benefits, rigorously applied and implemented on all mining proposals and projects. Government industry assistance to be subject to rigorous assessment of environmental, social and economic impacts.

"Fact-check and independently review all environmental impact assessments to make sure there is independent, evidence-based scrutiny of the claims made by proponents about the social and economic benefits of major projects." Source

 

 

How did we calculate these scores?

We measured the policies of each party against 40 tests set out in ACF’s National Agenda 2016. The tests are grouped under three broad headings: clean energy, cutting pollution and protecting nature. Together, these are the policy commitments we believe are required to protect people rivers, reefs, forests and wildlife for future generations.

We have ranked the 40 tests into three categories: critical issues (worth 5 marks), priority issues (worth 3 marks) and important issues (worth 1 mark). For each policy offering, we decide how many of the total available marks to award on the basis of how completely the policy fulfils our test. In some cases, such as where a policy unwinds existing environmental protection, we award negative marks. The total score out of 100 is our assessment of the strength of the party’s overall policy offering as it relates to the issues in ACF’s National Agenda. In the case of the minor parties on our scorecard, we haven taken into account their lesser relative capacity and have looked for strong in-principle commitments to deliver the policies our tests require, rather than detailed policy design. We have not assessed policy which falls outside our agenda.