Free sample essay on Environment:
Environmental policies are ones that occur in almost all of the major and minor party’s policy outlines. This is not only because it is an issue of the present, but also because our actions now will affect the state of the environment in the future. However, although it may be stated in all party’s policies, the specificity varies between both major and minor parties. The statement arguing that the major parties are now indistinguishable with the only policy variety in Australian politics coming from minor parties is a perfect way of describing the current status of Australian party’s environmental policies. In order to prove this, I will be focussing on the specific and current issue of global warming and the emission of greenhouse gasses, as although Australia is particularly vulnerable to global warming, neither Liberal nor Labor will commit to serious greenhouse gas emission abatement because of their antiquated views that this will hurt Australian industry. Therefore, responsibility now lies with smaller parties, mainly the Australian Democrats and The Australian Greens. As shown in the following arguments, it is the works of these parties that distinguish Australian politics.
The current governing party, the Liberal National Coalition Party, headed by John Howard, is one that is rather vague in its explanation of its beliefs, policies and action plans regarding protection of the environment. Not only this, but their strategies seem to be similar to those of the Labor party. For example, their policy outline simply states that the Coalition’s energy policy comprises four key principles: Energy markets must be efficient and ensure energy costs are competitive, innovation must be encouraged, energy end-use efficiency must be promoted and we must remain responsive to environmental concerns. And their environmental “one-liner” states “We believe in preserving Australia’s natural beauty and the environment for future generations”. Indeed, this seems to satisfy the needs of the environment, but does it explain exactly how the Liberal Party intends to contribute to the recuperation of the environment and its inhabitants? Indeed, it seems to be lacking in these areas, thus giving Australian voters little hope that their environment will recover. However, one issue which poses a rather large difference between the Labor and Liberal parties, as well as being a major area of concern is the signing and ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, which is a pact agreed on by governments at a 1997 United Nations conference in Kyoto, Japan, to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by developed countries by 5.2 percent of 1990 levels during the five-year period 2008-2012.
The Labor Party, now ruled by Simon Crean, is a party whose current priorities lie with the sale of Telstra, although since Crean has become the new party leader, their attitudes towards the Kyoto Protocol have taken a genuine turnaround. However, looking at their Environmental policies in general, they are probably not far off from being as non-specific as those of the Liberal Party. For example, they state that their principle objectives identified in the world strategy are namely maintenance of essential ecological processes and life support systems, preservation of genetic diversity and sustainable utilisation of species and ecosystems. Although these may sound very clear, in opposition to some of the smaller parties, these statements are very unspecific. Not only do they not explain how the problems occur in the first place, they do not show any signs of putting in place any forms of solutions, target dates or action plans for these problems. However, in conflict with the Liberal party, the Kyoto Protocol has become a key issue for this party. Earlier this year when Simon Crean was elected Leader of the Opposition, he released a statement that explained exactly how the Labor Party felt about the signing of this protocol and what the advantages would be. Although he did not say exactly how they intended to move towards this sanction, he has expressed more of an interest in its approval than Prime Minister, John Howard or former Leader of the Opposition, Kim Beazley.
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