Small islands in particular are high on the list of countries particularly affected by climate change.

Australia is not threatened with downfall in the truest sense of the word.

But for years, the residents have experienced what it means when everything is suddenly completely different, literally on their doorstep.

Periods of drought make livestock farming almost impossible.

Devastating fires not only destroy natural areas, but also more and more human settlements.

Then there are floods again.

And the governments of both major parties have been relatively relaxed about all of this for many years.

You have at least been very reserved when it comes to climate policy.

The suffering is great

The fact that many voters saw this as a serious omission has now been reflected in the results of the parliamentary elections.

Not only did the previous Prime Minister Scott Morrison lose his majority, the Labor Party did not – as would have been in line with Australian political tradition – emerge as the big winner from the election.

Rather, parliamentarians who want to make “green” politics in the broadest sense could become the decisive factor in the next legislative period.

It remains to be seen what the concrete outcome of this will be in terms of climate policy.

But if the level of suffering is great enough, change is possible even in a structurally conservative country like Australia.