February 17, 2016

As election looms, national push mounts to get fossil fuel money out of federal politics and pressure climate blockers

SYDNEY, 15th February — With a Federal election on the horizon, 350.org Australia has today launched a nationwide campaign calling for an end to fossil fuel donations and subsidies. The campaign – Pollution Free Politics – will shine a light on the federal politicians working hardest to block climate action whilst building public pressure to stop fossil fuel companies from polluting Australian climate politics.

“The ongoing failure of our politicians to tackle climate change is directly attributable to the political influence of the fossil fuel industry. If we are serious about climate solutions, we must end the cosy relationship between our politicians and the big polluters,” said Blair Palese, CEO of 350.org Australia.

According to analysis by 350.org, over the past 3 years, fossil fuel companies have donated $3.7 million to the major parties. In return, the Federal government will provide $7.7 billion in subsidies to the fossil fuel industry in the coming financial year.

“For every dollar donated to the major parties over the past 3 years, the fossil fuel industry will receive over $2000 in Government hand-outs from our politicians this year.”

“The relationship between our politicians and the fossil fuel industry is deeply polluted. From mining corruption scandals, the revolving door between parliament and the resources sector, and the two-way flow of donations and subsidies. ”

“If we want a safe climate future, we must wind back  the fossil fuel  industry’s polluting influence over our democracy.”

A number of MPs and former MPs have already signed on to the Pollution Free Politics Pledge, indicating their support for a ban on fossil fuel subsidies and political donations from fossil fuel companies.

“I am a strong supporter of action on climate change and I am against subsidies for the fossil fuel industry. I would like to see greater restrictions on the influence of that industry,” said ALP Member for Fremantle, Melissa Parke.

Campaigners have written to all MPs to gauge their position on the issue and are publishing the responses at www.pollutionfreepolitics.com.  The Pollution Free Politics website also includes a list of Australia’s biggest climate blockers, who will be a focus for the campaign.

“It’s time for our politicians to break their links with the big polluters by saying no to taking fossil fuel donations and no to giving fossil fuel subsidies. It’s time to make our politics pollution free,” concluded Palese.

As part of the Pollution Free Politics campaign, politicians across the country will come under increased pressure from their constituents to say no to donations and subsidies in the lead up to the Federal election. Plans are afoot for candidate forums, actions at electorate offices and more.

For more information: www.pollutionfreepolitics.com

Media Enquiries: Charlie Wood – 0427 485 233 – charlie@350.org.au