28 February 2019

NSW climate race heats up: Will Berejiklian get to the starting line?

The Nature Conservation Council welcomes Labor’s commitment to tackle climate change and calls on the Berejiklian government to join the race to power NSW with clean energy. [1]

NSW Labor has committed to:

  • Set a Renewable Energy Target of at least 50% by 2030;
  • Power all government agencies with clean energy by 2025; and
  • Legislate a Climate Change Act with interim targets to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

“Labor’s commitment is a step in the right direction but our emissions need to reach zero 10 years earlier to avoid the worst heatwaves, bushfires and droughts predicted,” Nature Conservation Council CEO Kate Smolski said.

“The commitment to source all of the government's electricity needs from clean sources is very welcome.”

Today’s announcement is the latest in a series of commitments on climate change from Labor; comes days after the Greens committed to establish a $1.8 billion transition fund for coal-affected communities; and follows commitments from all three parties to support households to install solar.

“There’s no denying climate change is a leading issue this election,” Ms Smolski said.

“Under Premier Berejiklian’s leadership, NSW has become a laggard on clean energy when we should be a leader. After eight years of inaction on climate change, NSW has a lot of catching up to do.

“Both Labor and the Greens have announced ambitious policies to boost clean energy in NSW but we are yet to hear any commitments from Premier Berejiklian beyond supporting households to install solar and batteries. When will she join the starting line?”

Climate action groups last month outlined what it would take to turn around the state’s terrible performance on clean energy. [2] That includes all political parties committing to:

  • Provide solar power to 400,000 households (including rentals) in the next term of government (by 2023) and to all homes by 2029.
  • Tender for 4000MW of large-scale clean power to be added to the grid by 2023;
  • Power all government operations with 100 per cent renewable energy by 2023; and
  • Legislate for net-zero carbon emissions by 2040 and ensuring all government decisions consider the impact of policies on climate change. 

[1] Labor’s plan to protect our environment and address climate change

[2] www.nature.org.au/media/368594/181220-policy-briefing-a-clean-energy-future-for-nsw.pdf

 

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