Below is a summary table comparing the Coalition, the Labor Party and the Greens on climate and related issues in the 2013 federal election.

Colour code:

Bad  climate  policy

Weak climate policy

Good climate  policy


Read more about Coalition policies, Australian Labor Party policies and Greens policies.

The preferences of some of the smaller parties could be decisive in the Senate. Read about their policies and their preferencing here.

The World Resources Institute has undertaken detailed review of the likely emissions reductions associated with current policies.

Coalition

Leadership on climate action?
Senior figures such as Corey Bernardi have licence to attack climate science. No mention of climate change in 'Our Plan'. Coalition state governments have undermined action.
Emissions reduction targets?
Support for 5% reduction on 1990 levels. Agreed to 15% and 25% conditional targets, but Greg Hunt avoids mentioning these and action on them is unlikely. Do not support 80% reduction by 2050.

Mechanisms for strong action?
Would repeal 'carbon tax' or Emissions Trading Scheme. Direct Action Plan unlikely to deliver 5% reductions within funding limit; penalties for increased emissions to be announced after election, but no mechanism for driving emissions down; expensive to ramp up to larger reductions.
Independent Climate Change Authority?
Would abolish Climate Change Authority and transfer functions to public service thus reducing independence of target setting. 
Leave coal & gas in the ground?
The Coalition is 'determined to deliver a more positive environment for mining', limit restrictions on the development of CSG and cut 'green tape' - reduce environmental protection and fast track fossil fuel projects. 

Phase out coal & gas power?
Direct Action could fund closure of coal fired power stations but no promises. Penalties for emissions increases above baseline. Support cheap fossil fuel power as good for business nad gas a 'transition fuel' .

Large scale renewable energy?
Keen to review (abolish?) Renewable Energy Target. Some subsidies for medium scale renewables. Would keep ARENA, but abolish CEFC and not honour current contracts.

Forests and conservation?
Would 'reduce green tape'. Favor development over conservation.  

Zero/low emissions transport? 
No federal funding for public transport. Support for Melbourne east-west road tollway.

Climate change information?
Would abolish Climate Change Commission. Links to Institute for Public Affairs which spreads climate disinformation. Internal pressure to privatise ABC and SBS.

Labor 

Leadership on climate action?
Acknowledge the climate science and climate change deniers in ALP do not speak publicly. Support limited action on climate change but far below the level required. 
Emissions reduction targets?
Support for 5% reduction on 1990 levels. Committed to 15% and 25% conditional targets but not pushing for increased ambition. Reluctantly agreed to 80% emissions reduction by 2050 target.

Mechanisms for strong action?
Emissions Trading Scheme allows for a rapid reduction in the number of permits issued. Would require complementary measures to reduce emissions in areas not covered. Link to European market with low permit price, and 50% off-shore permits, will reduce effectiveness in driving change in Australia but reduce cost. 
Independent Climate Change Authority?
Agreed to create Climate Change Authority in negotiations with independents and Greens. Would retain.
Leave coal & gas in the ground?
Martin Ferguson has pushed to develop coal and gas reserves as fast as possible. Gary Gray supports continued expansion. The ALP legislated a 'water trigger' for federal review of CSG approvals.  

Phase out coal & gas power?
Current $23/tonne price reduces competitiveness of coal and gas power. Free permits and ETS compensation increased profitability of coal power. Existence of ETS reduces chance of new coal power.

Large scale renewable energy?
Support retention of 20+% by 2020 Renewable Energy Target. Modelled 100% renewable grid but no plans to implement. Support for renewables via CEFC and ARENA.    

Forests and conservation?
Advocate balancing jobs and development with conservation.

Zero/low emissions transport?
Some federal funding for public transport. Position on Melbourne east-west tollway unclear.

Climate change information?
Would retain Climate Change Commission. Have attempted to introduce measures to increase fairness and balance of reporting. Support for ABC and SBS.

Greens

Leadership on climate action?
Give strong support for action. Speak about climate emergency and in support of 350ppm target. Clearly describe risks to humans and ecosystems from 4 degrees warming.
Emissions reduction targets?
Argued for stronger than 5% unconditional target and for 80% by 2050 target in negotiations with ALP and independents. Greens policy is 'net zero or net negative emissions within a generation'.

Mechanisms for strong action?
Support a robust carbon price and transition to Emissions Trading Scheme. Argued to keep floor price but conceded on this in return for limiting off-shore permits to 50%. Favour a range of measures to achieve rapid emissions reductions including RET 90% by 2030.

Independent Climate Change Authority?
Pushed for ALP to create Climate Change Authority to take target setting outside politics. Would retain and support.
Leave coal & gas in the ground?
No new coal mines. No coal seam gas mining or coal seam gasification. Pushed to include national parks in federal 'water trigger' legislation.
Phase out coal & gas power?
'Australia needs to plan for a future that does not rely on fossil fuels for export or electricity generation.'. No new coal-fired power stations. Re-direct fossil fuel subsidies.
Large scale renewable energy?
100% renewable energy 'as soon as possible' via increased RET and other measures. Pushed for modelling of 100% renewable grid. Support CEFC and ARENA.

Forests and conservation?
Favor conservation over development. Would end logging of old-growth forests.

Zero/low emissions transport?
Strong support for public transport. Pushed for Very Fast Train study. Oppose Melbourne east-west tollway.

Climate change information?
Support measures to increase fairness and balance of reporting. Would not privatise ABC or SBS.