Australian election 2022: what does the outcome mean for our environment?

Australian election 2022: what does the outcome mean for our environment?

Australia’s 2022 election has been dubbed a turning point on climate.

After several years studded with extreme natural disasters including floods, fires, droughts and significant Great Barrier Reef bleaching events – plus growing frustrations with a Government who claimed to be acting on emissions but wasn’t – it’s no wonder climate and environmental issues were high priorities for Australian voters.

Labour’s path to victory was an extraordinary one with a surge of climate-focused independents and Greens winning in formerly safe Liberal seats. Across the nation, candidates strong on climate action were rewarded while those who failed to take a stand on climate suffered the consequences at the polls, leaving an unusual political landscape.

What’s next for Australia’s climate and environmental policies?

Australia’s recent political transformation has provided the Labor government with a new challenge on climate – they now need to find ways to pursue more ambitious climate policies.

For now, Labor’s most crucial election promise is to reduce emissions targets by 43% by 2030 however analysts are speculating they may come under pressure to strike a new deal to stretch this target further.

The existing target makes Australia one of the first countries to live up to last year’s Glasgow climate pact agreement to increase their commitment ahead of the next major summit in Egypt. Although this still leaves Australia lagging behind other countries, it will likely be warmly welcomed by stakeholders of the UN climate talks as a step in the right direction after years of inaction.

Bringing carbon credit trading back to life

On home shores, businesses who are big emitters will likely be most impacted by the new climate policies as the government imposes tighter caps to hit reduction targets and strives to reinvigorate an Australian market for trading carbon credits.

In a recent article, Richard Martin, Managing Director of IMA Asia pointed to the flailing effectiveness of Australia Carbon Credit Units awarded to eligible projects that result in a reduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.

The value of the units fell after the previous government under Scott Morrison said it would step back as the largest buyer of emissions in March.

“If Labor is genuine in committing to its 2030 carbon emissions cap, then Australia faces a dramatic acceleration over the next year in carbon regulation and trading framework development,” Martin said.

The role of innovation and technology

As an Australian company with sustainability at our core, Papyrus Australia whole-heartedly welcomes the potential brought about by Australia’s recent political transformation, with hopes of seeing even further transformation to our nation’s climate policy.

We firmly believe that innovation and technology will be key to directly addressing and reversing the negative impacts of climate change. That’s why we’ve made it our mission to develop and licence a world-first, sustainable technology that produces environmentally friendly food packaging from banana fibre.

Our technology provides a 100% sustainable, zero-waste, chemical-free process of converting banana agri-waste into products, primarily biodegradable moulded food packaging, which is an alternative to plastic and forest-sourced products.

Not only does this process transform a globally available agri-waste into valuable products, but it also reduces the creation of greenhouse gases by utilising waste which would otherwise have produced methane emissions.

By licencing our technology in banana growing regions around the world, Papyrus’ technology has the potential to directly address the issue of greenhouse gas emission from banana farming and the negative impacts of deforestation and plastic in our waterways.

Bolder action for a brighter future

Via the ballot box, the Australian public has signalled its desire for stronger environmental and climate change action. Undoubtably, the next three years will prove challenging, both economically and politically, however with bold action a brighter future awaits, and we look forward to being apart of a greener, more sustainable Australia.