Environment

Related policies

  • Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Australians
  • Animals & Biodiversity
  • Energy
  • Finite & Non-Renewable Resources
  • Jobs & Economy
  • Planning & Development
  • Sustainable Population & Immigration (Australia)
  • Trade
  • Transport
  • Waste
  • Water

Policies Sections

  • General
  • Climate Change
  • Forestry

Background

Sustainable Australia Party is sometimes asked how we differ from The Greens party.

  • Firstly, SAP is an independent community movement from the political centre.
  • Secondly, within a broad sustainability-focused environmental policy platform, and based on the clear environmental science that population growth is a significant contributor to Australia's growing environmental crises, SAP advocates for policies that would significantly slow Australia's rapid population growth.

"Our report said that no single government or sector was responsible for the problems. They were the result of the growth and distribution of our population, our lifestyle choices, consumption patterns and the technologies we use." State of the Environment Report via The Conversation

 See full Background below for scientific and related sources.


Policy

Prioritise ecological sustainability and better protect, manage and restore Australia's fragile and unique natural environment, not only for the health and wellbeing of the humans and biodiversity within it, but for its own intrinsic worth.

Policy Methods (Federal & State)

To help achieve this Sustainable Australia Party will:

General

  • Establish environmental 'job guarantee' programs (see Jobs & Economy)
  • Invest more in environmental education and the protection, maintenance and ecological restoration of the natural environment.
  • End broadscale land clearing and initiate a nationwide ecological restoration program to rehabilitate degraded lands.
  • Provide increased employment, training and volunteer opportunities in conservation management, including via State national parks services and an enhanced national 'sustainability army' for the broader environment. This would particularly help revitalise regional, rural, remote and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities (also see Regional & Rural Australia policy).
  • Further develop land stewardship funds to support relevant farmers and rural landowners to help manage biodiversity values on their properties, including areas that are either high conservation value and/or unsuitable or marginal for agricultural use (also see Regional & Rural Australia policy).
  • Adopt a meaningful population policy to lower population growth (also see Sustainable Population & Immigration (Australia) policy).(2)

Climate change

"The viability of our societies depends on leaders from government, business and civil society uniting behind policies, actions and investments that will limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius." Australian Broadcasting Corporation

"The world’s leading climate scientists have warned that the prospect of limiting global warming to 1.5C will be out of reach within 12 years at current rates of greenhouse gas emissions, in a report that finds it is now “unequivocal’’ that human activity is heating the planet." The Australian [$]

  • Act on climate change and contribute to staying below 1.5 degrees global temperature rise compared to pre-industrial levels (3,4), by lowering Australia's greenhouse gas emissions below 2000 levels as follows:
    • By at least 30 per cent by 2025
    • By at least 40 per cent and up to 60 per cent by 2030
    • By at least 80 per cent and up to 100 per cent by 2050
    • This should include:
      • Funding and subsidising research and development into renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency initiatives.
      • Adopting a renewable energy target (RET) of at least 50 per cent by 2030, and up to 100 per cent by 2050.
      • Imposing a moratorium on all new coal mines in Australia.
      • Imposing a moratorium on all new fracking, including for coal seam gas (also see Energy policy).
      • Phasing out fossil fuel subsidies (excluding the Diesel Fuel Rebate in regional and remote areas).
      • Adopting a globally consistent carbon pricing mechanism that does not unfairly penalise Australian industries.
      • Vigorously lobbying other nations to ensure fair and reasonable global action on greenhouse gas emissions.
      • Promoting the environmental benefits of plant-based food.
      • Lower population growth.(5)

"The federal government’s State of the Environment 2016 report (prepared by a group of independent experts) predicts that population growth and economic development will be the main drivers of environmental problems such as land-use change, habitat destruction, invasive species, and climate change." The Conversation

The Victorian Government's Victorian Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report 2018, is further shocking evidence (unreported in the mainstream media) of how government-engineered rapid population growth is wiping out our efforts to reduce per capita (and therefore total) emissions.

Forestry

  • Ending old growth forest logging.(8)
  • Subject all state Regional Forest Agreements to the jurisdiction of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (Commonwealth) to ensure all forestry is subject to the usual environmental and planning approval requirements.
  • Not accredit Australian native forests or its waste to be burnt for biomass power as a ’renewable energy‘ source under the Renewable Energy Target or related schemes.
  • Support a diverse range of plantation products
  • Restore failed plantations back to native forest
  • Minimise the scale and improve the practices of native forest logging. This should include:
    • Avoiding the habitats of threatened, vulnerable and endangered native species
    • Increasing the forest reserve system
    • Maximising the Australian economic value-add for timber products, including banning the export of raw materials (e.g. woodchips)
  • Lower population growth.

Background

Sustainable Australia Party is sometimes asked how we differ from The Greens party.

  • Firstly, SAP is a more centrist party.
  • Secondly, within a broad sustainability-focused environmental policy platform - and based on the clear environmental science that population growth is a significant contributor to Australia's growing environmental crises - SAP advocates for policies that would significantly slow Australia's rapid population growth. If we are to lower Australia's total environmental impact, as we must, we need to both lower our per capita environmental impacts and stabilise our population. Scientific and related sources:

"Our report said that no single government or sector was responsible for the problems. They were the result of the growth and distribution of our population, our lifestyle choices, consumption patterns and the technologies we use." State of the Environment Report via The Conversation

"A key conservation group wants human population growth to be listed as a threatening process under Australia's environment laws. The Australian Conservation Foundation has asked the Federal Department of Environment to review the link between Australia's growing population and the loss of biodiversity." Australian Conservation Foundation via ABC

"We need to focus on limiting human population growth, reducing resource consumption, and cracking down on government corruption, if we're going to stop the global loss of species known as the sixth great extinction." Nature Ecology & Evolution via ABC

"All our environmental problems become … harder - and ultimately impossible - to solve with ever more people." Sir David Attenborough

If we are to realistically lower Australia's total environmental impact, as we must, we need to both lower our per capita environmental impacts and stabilise our population size. 

See footnotes for further reading.(5)


Footnotes:

  1. Sustainable Australia Party supports the science that humans are contributing to climate change. To this end, our Australian greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets are adopted from recommendations by the Climate Change Authority.
  2. Sustainable Australia Party supports the current ACT Government's aim for 100% Renewable energy by 2020
  3. Population growth undermines efforts to lower carbon emissions: CLICK HERE and HERE
  4. Old growth forest is forest that is ecologically mature (usually at least 100-200 years old) and has been subjected to negligible unnatural disturbance.
  5. Further reading re population growth: The Green case for controlling our borders - Ecologist. Closing the sustainability loop - Sustainable Australia Party president William Bourke.

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