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Australia: Anthony Albanese promises "renewable energy superpower" after election victory

2022-05-21T18:10:32.731Z

The change of government in Canberra is dominated by climate policy. Social Democrat Anthony Albanese is committed to an energy transition. The Conservatives were punished after several natural disasters.



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A kangaroo fleeing the blazes during the devastating fires of 2020

Photo: SAEED KHAN/ AFP

Former opposition leader Anthony Albanese promised a change of course in climate policy after his Labor party won the parliamentary elections.

"We can seize the opportunity to make Australia a renewable energy superpower," Albanese said on Saturday evening (local time).

Acting Prime Minister Scott Morrison had previously admitted defeat.

Its conservative alliance of Liberal and National Party, which has been in government in Australia for nine years, was punished for its coal-friendly climate policy.

The 59-year-old Albanian campaigned on climate issues, among other things, and promised help for people suffering from inflation.

According to the latest projections by ABC television, his social democratic Labor party secured 72 of 151 seats in the new House of Representatives and was ahead in another six of 14 undecided constituencies.

76 mandates are required for an absolute majority in the parliamentary chamber.

The Greens, who previously had one MP in the capital, Canberra, were also successful and could achieve three mandates in the future.

In the conservative strongholds of the suburbs of large metropolises, several independents took seats from the Morrison camp.

Without a party ticket, it was mainly highly qualified women who campaigned for environmental protection, against corruption and for gender equality, in many cases supported by a climate foundation.

Based on the blue party color of Morrison's Liberals, these candidates are described in Australia as "teal" (blue-green) - ie as environmentally conscious conservatives.

Fires, floods, coral bleaching

During the election campaign, Labor's lead candidate Albanese had promised to reduce Australia's CO₂ emissions by 43 percent by 2030 compared to 2005.

In addition, his party campaigned for a massive expansion of renewable energies, purchase premiums on electric cars and significantly stricter emission laws.

However, Labor has not announced any coal mine closures.

Australia is one of the most important coal producers in the world.

With the defeat of the incumbent Prime Minister Morrison, nine years of conservative rule in Australia come to an end, at the beginning of which a CO₂ tax introduced by the previous Labor government was abolished again.

Morrison announced his resignation as leader of his party on Saturday evening.

He had previously spoken of a "difficult evening" for his conservatives and congratulated Albanese.

Climate change was a defining issue of the election campaign.

Australia had felt its effects strongly in recent years: in 2019, huge fires in the east of the country devastated an area the size of Finland, and in February 2022 floods caused severe damage.

Recently, renewed massive coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef became known.

In addition, Morrison's government's corona policy met with severe criticism: massive delays in vaccination led to extended lockdowns in the country's major cities and a two-year border closure that separated family members and earned Australia the reputation of a hermit state.

The economic consequences of the corona pandemic are also being felt by many Australians: the unemployment rate is higher than it has been in 48 years.

Conservative British Prime Minister Boris Johnson congratulated Albanese on Saturday for his election victory.

Johnson said he "can't wait" to work with the future prime minister.

The UK and Australia are "like-minded democracies" working "every day to make the world a better, safer, greener and more prosperous place."

Around 17 million people in Australia were called upon to vote for a new House of Representatives and just over half of the seats in the Senate, the upper house of Australia's parliament.

Voting is compulsory in this huge country.

ak/AFP

Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2022-05-21

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