Australian Independent MPs Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott Support Strong Action on Climate Change
The two independent Members of Parliament who, through their support, have today made a Labor Government possible are both strong advocates of action on climate change.
Tony Windsor was the proponent of a Private Members Bill in November 2008 that proposed to cut Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2020 on 1990 levels. Mr Windsor is known to be open to market mechanisms, and is a strong proponent of soil carbon enhancement initiatives.
Mr Oakeshott has spoken extensively about the risks and impacts of climate change (he represents a Mid-North NSW coastal community) and the need to substantially address the issue, and introduced an amendment to the Enhanced Renewable Energy Target (supporting the Greens in the Senate) to provide for a national renewable energy feed-in-tariff.
With the Greens holding a substantial wedge of votes in the Senate, and Oakeshott, Windsor, and Greens MP Adam Bandt giving Labor the numbers in the Lower House, we might expect a renewed sense of interest in the early introduction of climate change measures in the next Parliament.
What form this action takes is to be seen. Tony Abbott was none too conciliatory in his concession speech and expressed his intent to act firmly in opposition (assuming he is re-nominated).
While Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor may support climate action, their commitment to an emissions trading scheme (Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme – CPRS) is shaky. The Greens have already proven their resistance to any compromise carbon reduction market mechanism.
The climate legislation outcome from the election is far from clear.