4 December 2018

NSW Government fails on energy transformation - pollution at record levels

The NSW Government has misrepresented the state’s achievements on clean energy by failing to disclose our electricity emissions are rising, according to the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.

“Today the NSW Energy Minister Don Harwin is trying to hoodwink the community into believing his Government actually has a plan to phase out coal and usher in clean energy,” said Kate Smolski, CEO of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.

Energy and Resources Minister Don Harwin spoke today at the Smart Energy Summit in Sydney and stated that NSW has achieved all of the objectives set in the 2013 Renewable Energy Action Plan. Information on the Plan is available here.

“The pollution from NSW coal-burning power stations has never been greater. Today 81.5% of our electricity comes from coal which makes us one of the most polluting energy systems on the planet[1].

“In the past year NSW dependence on coal has increased, at the same time that the Great Barrier Reef has been bleached, the drought has taken grip, and bushfires have raged in winter.

“The lessons from the Wentworth and Victorian elections cannot be simply that our Government makes platitudes about believing the science of climate change. That should be a given, what really matters is action.

“The Coalition have had almost eight years to develop a plan to get to a clean energy future but have done almost nothing. They released a draft Climate Change Fund Strategic Plan almost two years ago and it has still not been finalised.

“Today neither major party has the ambitious plan that we need to embrace clean energy to tackle climate change.

“We are calling on all parties to commit to source our energy from clean sources by 2030 and invest $2 billion, or half of the proceeds of selling Snowy Hydro, into a regional renewable energy fund that will underpin dispatchable clean energy, create jobs in wind and solar farms, and support households to install batteries.”

[1]Department of the Environment and Energy, Australian Energy Statistics, Table O, August 2018

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