Sometimes, federal elections in Australia have felt like potential watersheds, as Labor and the Coalition paint two very different visions of the nation. Days out from the weekend poll, however, not enough separates the major parties on a host of issues that will define Australia’s future – none of them bigger than climate change.

Labor’s suite of climate policies goes notably further than the Morrison government’s. But neither party’s ambition on emissions reduction is consistent with what scientists say is needed to avert disastrous global warming. And both parties have their heads firmly in the sand when it comes to the inevitable demise of coal.

As the Australian National University’s Frank Jotzo writes today, the next government must deal with climate policy, whether it likes it or not. He urges our 47th parliament to hit the reset button on the issue, and clearly articulates the very long to-do list. The challenges before us, he says, are too difficult and important for political point-scoring or ideological zealotry.

And nor can adapting to climate change be the plaything of politics, Johanna Nalau reminds us. To withstand the droughts, floods, bushfires and heatwaves to come, she says, Australia needs a robust bipartisan strategy.

For this reason and so many others, this election has been described in some quarters as the most important in Australia’s history. As climate scientist and author Joelle Gergis writes, the rest of the world is watching to see whether we rise to the challenge.

Nicole Hasham

Section Editor: Energy + Environment

‘A new climate politics’: the 47th parliament must be a contest of ideas for a hotter, low-carbon Australia

Frank Jotzo, Australian National University

The issues before us are too difficult, too important and too pressing to abandon them to political point-scoring or ideological zealotry.

Lismore faced monster floods all but alone. We must get better at climate adaptation, and fast

Johanna Nalau, Griffith University; Hannah Melville-Rea, New York University; Mark Howden, Australian National University

We can’t let communities face climate change alone. We must get better at adapting to the new climate, and do it before disasters not during.

I’m a climate scientist and writer: this election is the most important in Australia’s history

Joelle Gergis, Australian National University

Australian authors have formed a new group, Writers for Climate Action. Joelle Gergis explains how art, along with science, can help bring about the changes needed.

Morrison is hoping for an election surprise but ‘uncommitted’ voters rarely turn things around in the final week

Murray Goot, Macquarie University

There have been few if any elections when, in the last week, it has been the ‘uncommitted’ voters who have turned things around.

The media has reached ‘peak passivity’ in the lead up to the 2022 election

Rodney Tiffen, University of Sydney

One of Australia’s leading media scholars says the Canberra press gallery reached ‘peak passivity’ during the Menzies and Fraser governments. And again over the last three years of Coalition rule.

Proof positive. Real wages are shrinking, Wednesday’s figures put it beyond doubt

Jim Stanford, University of Sydney

The buying power of wages shrank a record 2.7% over the year to March, calling into question assurances about the link between low unemployment and high wage growth.

‘A lazy cost-saving measure’: the Coalition’s efficiency dividend hike may mean longer wait times and reduced services

Andrew Podger, Australian National University

Many reviews over the years have revealed the efficiency dividend often does impact the level and quality of services, particularly for smaller agencies and particularly over time.

Politics + Society

Health + Medicine

Science + Technology

Environment + Energy

Arts + Culture

Books + Ideas

Business + Economy


Featured jobs

Business Manager

— Hobart TAS, Australia

More Jobs

Featured Events, Courses & Podcasts

What is adult ADHD and how to treat it

— Victoria, Australia — The Conversation Weekly Podcast

Below the Line, a new political podcast from The Conversation

— Victoria, Australia — The Conversation

Deadly Distraction: Why Death Penalty is not the Answer to Rape in Sth Asia by Eleos Justice

— Online, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000, Australia — Monash University

COVID-19 Pandemic and Mental Health

— Online, Melbourne, Victoria, 3145, Australia — Monash University

More events, courses & podcasts

​Contact us here to list your job, or here to list your event, course or podcast.

For sponsorship opportunities, email us here