13 March 2019

Incompetence or willful ignorance: Premier Berejiklian deaf to expert advice on climate change

The Nature Conservation Council calls on the NSW Government to start listening to its own experts and develop a climate change plan that includes measures to accelerate the energy sector’s transition from coal to renewables.

“Reports today that Premier Glady Berjiklian’s government stonewalled pleas for action from the NSW Climate Change Council are shocking,” Nature Conservation Council CEO Kate Smolski said.

“Until now it was a toss-up whether the NSW Coalition government’s failure to develop a climate change plan after eight years in government was incompetence or wilful ignorance. Today’s revelation suggests it is a bit of both.

“But either way, voters are waking up to the gross disservice that the Coalition done NSW by failing to develop a climate change plan that includes measures to rapidly transition from coal to clean energy.

“After eight years, the Berejiklian government still doesn’t have a climate change policy.  Voters will rightfully judge the NSW Coalition’s terrible performance in this area.

“The Coalition has made one good announcement so far, about supporting domestic rooftop solar and batteries, but it has still has not made any significant announcements on expanding large-scale renewable energy.

“Premier Berejiklian is going to the election empty-handed on one of the most pressing issues for voters.

“With just 10 days left to the election, time is running out for the Premier to establish competitive climate and energy credentials."

According to media reports today, the NSW Climate Change Council wrote to Gladys Berejiklian last month after failing to draw interest from government policymakers. [1]

The letter reportedly said: "NSW remains one of the most at-risk states from climate change, including from bushfires, extreme rainfall, increased summer heatwaves and heat extremes, declining water supplies and sea-level rises. This summer is indicative of the challenges we are to face."

The council called on the government to develop a Climate Change Act similar to the one the Victorian government introduced. It also said an independent statutory authority should be charged with implementing NSW's climate mitigation and adaptation plans.

[1] SMH 13-3-19 'Ignored': climate experts appeal to Berejiklian government



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