May 20, 2019

Coal trumped climate action in Australia's election

Amy Harder, author of Generate

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Australian voters turned against center-left opponents pushing aggressive strategies to combat climate change when they re-elected Australia's conservative government in the country's national elections on Saturday, WSJ reports.

Our thought bubble: The elections indicate that Australia will continue to closely resemble the Trump administration's positioning on climate change.

  • Climate change, and whether to act aggressively to address it, featured prominently in this election. So, the results suggest that either voters don't care as much about the issue compared to others or they prefer less aggressive measures like what the current leadership is pursuing.

The big picture: WSJ writes...

"Climate change, a thorny problem that has ripped apart governments, re-emerged as an election issue following a summer of wildfires, drought, floods and extreme temperatures: Voter support for policies aimed at addressing climate change was at the highest level since 2007. But, as in the U.S., divisions grew more stark as the issue gathered steam."

One level deeper: Several Liberal Party candidates won in the state of Queensland, near the Great Barrier Reef, per NYT.

  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison campaigned in support of major coal mine projects like the proposed Adani coal mine in that region, which would be one of the largest in the world if approved by the government.
  • "Voters favored immediate concerns about jobs over the risks of climate change," the Times reports.

Go deeper: NYT analysis of the election and the climate change angle.

Go deeper

Updated 5 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 6,325,303 — Total deaths: 377,460 — Total recoveries — 2,727,679Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 1,820,523 — Total deaths: 105,644 — Total recoveries: 458,231 — Total tested: 17,340,682Map.
  3. Public health: Protests against police brutality threaten coronavirus response — Controlling the virus in nursing homes won't be easy.
  4. Business: More than 1 in 6 black workers lost jobs between February and April.
  5. Climate: The alarm over climate financial risk gets louder because of coronavirus.
  6. Media: Interest in the George Floyd protests has soared past the coronavirus.
Updated 40 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Updates: George Floyd protests nationwide

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued across the U.S., inciting a federal response from President Trump, the National Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.

The latest: Immigration agents have been deployed to assist federal, state and local law enforcement. The U.S. Secret Service closed the streets immediately on all four sides of the White House Tuesday, until "riots become peaceful, or stop."

46 mins ago - Science

NASA passes the torch

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

With the historic crewed SpaceX launch last weekend, NASA passed the torch to private companies that will need to step up to build the economy the space agency envisions in orbit.

Why it matters: This new era of spaceflight will likely be marked by new conflicts — possibly including product placement (like the Tesla that drove the astronauts to the pad on Saturday), safety concerns and cultural differences between companies, the space agencies and people they serve.