Greenpeace Budget verdict: Small change to tackle the climate and energy crisis
SYDNEY, 25 October 2022 - The Albanese government’s first federal budget offered some promising steps forward but fell short by continuing fossil fuel subsidies and failing to address the Pacific’s existential climate threat, Greenpeace Australia Pacific says.
Steph Hodgins-May, senior campaigner at Greenpeace Australia Pacific, said:
“The Albanese government has made some big pledges about strengthening ties with its Pacific family on climate change, the single greatest existential threat facing the region.
“But in order to be a true member of the Pacific family, it must convert rhetoric to action and support Pacific calls for measures that meet the urgency of the climate crisis devastating its peoples, environments, and ways of life.
“Instead, it is committing almost $46 million to improve its international standing so it can co-host a future COP event with the Pacific. The Pacific doesn’t need money funnelled to make Australia look good so it can host a conference, it needs Australia to step up and commit to establishing a Loss and Damage Finance Facility at COP27.”
Richard George, senior gas campaigner at Greenpeace Australia Pacific, said:
“While the Albanese Government’s first Federal Budget saw some promising developments, such as redirecting some of Morrison’s $750 million fossil fuel slush fund, there were also missed opportunities to genuinely tackle the climate and energy crisis facing Australians. Announcing spending on renewables and disaster relief while quietly continuing billions in fossil fuel subsidies is completely counterproductive. In order to tackle the floods, fires and droughts that are threatening Australians’ lives, our economy and security, we need to urgently reduce our emissions – and that means no new fossil fuels.
“This was billed as a “cost of living” budget, but Labor has missed a crucial opportunity to help Australians feeling the squeeze on energy bills by failing to introduce a windfall tax on gas export mega-profits. Gas corporations like Woodside Energy are making billions from extracting climate-wrecking gas at our expense, while ordinary Australians face huge clean up bills for stacked climate disasters.”
“A windfall tax on gas exports could provide $20 billion to turbocharge Australia’s switch to clean, reliable and cheap renewables, while ensuring that greedy gas companies start contributing their fair share.”
Lindsay Soutar, senior transport campaigner at Greenpeace Australia Pacific, said:
“With transport emissions continuing to spiral and Australians feeling the pinch at the petrol bowser, action to drive cleaner and more affordable transport is increasingly urgent. Cutting the cost of some electric vehicles (EVs) and investing in charging infrastructure are welcome measures in this budget. But the major missing piece of the puzzle is still a fuel efficiency standard to unlock EV supply.
“Bringing in a fuel efficiency standard will save motorists money, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and create new economic opportunities. The Albanese government needs to introduce this policy measure as soon as possible, as well as making major investments in public and active transport and the development of a new EV manufacturing industry in Australia.
“The government will need to up its game in future budgets to avoid leaving Aussies stranded on the roadside when it comes to serious clean transport spending.”