Ban Political Donations from Australia’s Largest Contributors to Climate Change

Ban Political Donations from Australia’s Largest Contributors to Climate Change

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Andrew R started this petition to Scott Morrison (Federal Member for Cook) and
  • We call on the Federal Government to end all political donations from the fossil fuel industry – following precedents set on foreign donations (Federal) and the tobacco industry (NSW). 
  • In financial year 2018-19, the fossil fuel industry donated $1.9m in total to major Australian political parties inc Labor, Liberal & Nationals.
  • It must be assumed these donations are influencing, or are intended to influence, policy, or they would not be made.
  • This is not intended to gag the fossil fuel industry; this is about removing any financially motivated political biases for a more objective national agenda to address climate change across both ‘sides’ of politics.

We respectfully call on the Prime Minister & Federal Government of Australia to ban immediately all donations, gifts, hospitality etc. made to political parties and public representatives from businesses, organisations or individuals with direct involvement in, or close association with, the extraction & sale of fossil fuels.

This follows precedents set at Federal level on banning foreign donors, and at State level banning donations from tobacco and gambling industries (in NSW, for example). [1]

Australia is the 54th most populous country in the world, but is the 16th largest greenhouse gas emitter, domestically producing 534m tonnes of CO2 in 2018. However emissions from coal, gas & oil from Australia’s top 10 fossil fuel producers alone accounted for 670m tonnes of emissions globally (i.e. allowing for exports), equivalent to ranking 8th in the list of highest emitting nations. [2]

In financial year 2018-19, the fossil fuel industry donated $1.9m in total to major Australian political parties including Labor, Liberal & National parties. (And not including any number of undeclared donations of less than $13,800, paid seats at fundraising events etc.) Clive Palmer’s Mineralogy donated an additional $83.7m the United Australia Party. [3]

How can we realistically expect to have an objective agenda in the national interest addressing climate change, when the largest contributors to climate change are funding both sides of politics?

It must be assumed that these donations are influencing, or are intended to influence, the policies and procedures of political parties & elected representatives, otherwise the donations would not be made. And if politicians claim the level of donations are not significant or do not influence policy, then there should be no policy impact from, or reasonable grounds to oppose, banning them.

This isn’t about gagging the fossil fuel industry; it represents an important part of the Australian economy in the short term and has a legitimate need to have ongoing engagement with government.

This is about removing any financially motivated biases – ensuring greater objectivity and action from political leaders in successfully planning & delivering a sustainable future in the long-term interests of Australia and the global community.  

Thank you.

 

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References -

  1. ‘Election funding and disclosure in Australian states and territories: a quick guide’, Parliament of Australia. See https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/rp1819/Quick_Guides/ElectionFundingStates
  2. ‘Australia’s Carbon Majors Report’, Prof. J. Moss & P. Fraser, UNSW Sydney, 2019. See  https://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/general/carbon-majors-need-be-responsible-their-emissions
  3. Australian Electoral Commission disclosure of political party returns for 2018-19; analysis from Australian Conservation Foundation, Feb 2020. See https://www.acf.org.au/donations_data_reveals_scale_of_coal_and_gas_industry_efforts_to_influence_australian_politics
0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!