Environmental Principles


The Australian Greens believe that:

  1. Human beings are part of the natural world, and all forms of life on Earth deserve our respect.
  2. Human society depends upon the ecological resources of the planet, therefore we must protect and maintain the integrity of its ecosystems.
  3. Australians, as global citizens, have a duty of care to manage our unique natural environment and its resources, to ensure their ongoing sustainability for future generations, and to help protect the ecological integrity of our planet.
  4. Ecological sustainability and the precautionary principle must be fully integrated into decision-making in order to secure the continued availability of the resources of the planet for present and future generations.
  5. The cultural knowledge of the indigenous peoples of the world as the original custodians of land and sea must be recognised and their land and sea country rights supported.
  6. Human induced climate change poses the greatest threat to our world, and urgent and sustained local, national and global action is required in this critical decade to 2020 to ensure a safe climate.
  7. Climate change will increase the intensity and frequency of bushfires; scientifically-based, ecologically appropriate use of fire is an important means to protect biodiversity and manage habitat effectively. 
  8. Decisions regarding the management, change of use, rehabilitation or conservation of the environment should be informed by scientific evidence rather than economic considerations.


The Australian Greens want:

  1. A society which lives within the ecological, resource and atmospheric limits of the planet.
  2. Dramatic action on global warming to maintain a stable climate system conducive to the preservation of our environment.
  3. A curtailing of the use of natural resources so sufficient resources are left for future generations.
  4. An improved quality of life for all Australians, with a reduction in the material consumption that contributes to the degradation of the planet.
  5. Encouragement, empowerment and resourcing of the participation of local communities in the planning and implementation of strategies to protect and manage the environment.
  6. To work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to protect and restore our country, including implementing shared management agreements with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to develop meaningful employment in natural resource management.
  7. Rigorous evidence based bushfire research that considers the use of fire, and best environmental and fire risk minimization in building practices.
  8. An effective and sustainable strategy for fuel-reduction management that will protect biodiversity and moderate the effects of wildfire for the protection of people and assets, developed in consultation with experts, custodians and land managers.
  9. To establish an independent national ecological sustainability commission to focus on issues of ecological integrity.
  10. To strengthen and expand the Commonwealth powers to protect and enhance Australia’s environment and heritage including broader oversight of state government decisions with national environmental significance.
  11. To clearly define in domestic law all of Australia's responsibilities under international environmental treaties to which we are a signatory, and to contribute to global sustainability through support of international cooperation on environmental issues.
  12. The inclusion of ecological and environmental principles in primary and secondary school curricula.
  13. Reserve systems that are comprehensive, adequate and representative of all of our unique ecosystems, supported by a nation-wide approach to protection and restoration of Australia's natural environment.
  14. To phase out persistent and bio-accumulative materials, prevent the release of hazardous chemicals and materials into the environment and rehabilitate affected environments where possible.
  15. Strong Australian biosecurity systems to prevent the introduction of pest plants, animals and diseases.

[Policy endorsed: November 2017]