Greens want to ban fossil fuel companies from making political donations

The Australian Greens have presented a plan to ban fossil fuel companies from donating to political parties.

The Australian Electoral Commission has revealed that coal, gas and oil companies shelled out huge sums of money between 2020 and 2021.

The Liberal Party took the biggest slice of the fossil fuel pie, with more than $500,000 in donations.

Renewable Energy Campaign Group 350 explained how Labor received almost $400,000 and the Nationals just under $60,000.

It’s a practice that Queensland Greens Senator Larissa Waters wants to end for good.

Credit: Alamy

Talk to national radiothe Greens’ deputy leader said: “They’re donating in spades.

“It’s no wonder people think politicians are for sale when you see the volume – the millions of dollars going into the pockets of both sides of politics – of coal, gas and oil companies.

“There’s a real perception, and frankly I think it’s a reality, that you get what you pay for.

“And that’s why big fossil fuel companies shouldn’t be allowed to buy the political outcomes that suit their profits, especially in a climate crisis.

“With an election coming up, people deserve to know in real time who is paying for what.”

Interestingly, 350 notes how Empire Energy donated $40,000 to the Liberal Party and $25,000 to Labor in the Northern Territory. Coincidentally, the company then clawed back $21 million of taxpayer money to fracture the Beetaloo Basin.

The Guardian reports that the fossil fuel industry doubled its donations to major parties between 2016 and 2020.

The Greens will take their “democracy is not for sale” Politics in the next federal election and promises to ban political donations from these types of companies if they win.

The party’s website explains how donations over the years have totaled millions of dollars.

“Money should not be able to buy political influence, access or political results,” write the Greens. “Political donation laws need cleaning up, as do the old, polluting industries that exploit them.

“Over the past 3 years, Liberals have accepted $2,365,250, Labor has accepted $1,108,528 and Nationals have accepted $221,787 from fossil fuel companies.

“That’s nearly $3.7 million in dirty money that sways the judgment of politicians when they debate critical issues like global warming and clean energy.”

But the Greens also have their eyes on political donations from other companies.

Their Donations Reform Bill would also see political donations from the mining, development, tobacco, alcohol, gambling, banking, defense and pharmaceutical industries banned.

Donations from individuals, unions and charities would also be limited to $1,000 or less each year.