It is disappointing that less than a year after the Coalition took the historic step of committing Australia to zero net carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, and 75 days after Australians couldn't have made it clearer they wanted strong action on climate change, only one courageous Coalition MP could bring herself to vote for the ALP's 43 per cent 2030 emissions reductions target.
Only Bridget Archer had the guts to cross the floor and to vote for legislation that has overwhelming community backing.
The irony that Thursday's vote took place while parts of the ACT and NSW were being inundated as a result of heavy rainfall linked, at least in part, to shifting weather patterns predicted by climate change modelling wouldn't have been lost on many people. Climate change is real and the consequences are already being felt here and abroad.
This is why when ACM surveyed more than 7200 of our readers about what mattered most to them ahead of the May 21 election, action on climate change topped the list of issues. A massive 43 per cent of respondents nominated this as their major concern.
If this, and the results of many similar surveys and polls, isn't enough to convince the Coalition of the depth of community concern then all its MPs have to do is to look at the cross benches. There is no way they can ignore the presence of six teal independents, all of whom campaigned strongly on climate.
One of the most refreshing aspects of Thursday's climate debate was to see independents being listened to and, when they moved sensible and practical amendments, to see them being adopted.
While it would be tempting to dismiss Mr Albanese's expression of disappointment at the Coalition's failure to vote in favour of the climate legislation as a rhetorical device he actually makes a good point.
Australia has had a long tradition of bipartisan consensus on defence and national security, with AUKUS and assistance to Ukraine being two recent examples.
Our rapidly changing climate is now arguably the greatest danger millions of Australians face.
The time has come to end the climate wars. We don't have time to waste on false starts and political shenanigans.
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