From reef bleaching to mega bushfires and drought, climate change is already effecting our lives. But could it also effect the outcome of our federal election?

Isla Stanich reports.


Overwhelmingly, scientists believe we have 11 years until the turning point, where the impact of climate change on our planet will become catastrophic and irreversible.

Emily Kain, Australian Conservation Foundation: “We have seen Townsville underwater at the same time as Tasmania was on fire, we’ve had unprecedented fires in parts of Queensland, where people haven’t even seen fires before.”

So, in this so-called “climate election” are our politicians hearing the call for change?

Megan Gallagher, Student Climate Activist: “This is where our voices really do matter, our politicians are failing in what we’re asking them to do.”

Community passion is strong.

Megan Gallagher, Student Climate Activist: “We want to put Adani to be stopped, we want 100% renewable energies by 2030 and we want no new oil coal or gas.” (crowd cheers)

So what do our political leaders propose?

By 2030 Labor is promising to source half our electricity from renewables, and slash carbon emissions.

The big question is whether they will keep their word, because how they’ll achieve these goals remains vague.

Bill Shorten, Opposition Leader: “If we don’t take action now, it’s going to cost our kids more.”

The Coalition is selling their climate policy as a practical solutions approach.

Committing to a 26% emission reduction by 2030.

Scott Morrison, Prime Minister:”What we don’t know is how much this is going to cost.”

Mr Morrison says Labor’s approach takes a sledgehammer to the economy.

But the Government has already signed off Commonwealth approvals for the Adani coal mine.

Support for fossil fuels could prove politically fatal.

Robbie Dunn, Climate Activist: “Why would you destroy paradise? Coal is suicide in slow motion.”

Now Australia’s youth are getting politically active.

In the past six months we’ve seen almost 200,000 students across Australia take part in 95 climate strikes.

Today’s future leaders making their voices heard.

Australia is falling behind the rest of the world which is why thousands of our country’s youth are taking to the streets to participate in rallies like these, because they believe time is running out.

No one can predict how the future will unfold.

But what we do know is that other countries are showing the way in renewabloe energy.

Liza, Student Climate Activist: “You see countries like Sweden and Germany, and they’re going to so much renewable energy advancing in just everything they do, climate is number one and they make quick changes.”

It’s an important issue, which will be decided in the polling booths.

Isla Stanich, QUT News.