Greenpeace response to Federal Budget
SYDNEY, Tuesday 11 May 2021 - In response to the Treasurer’s Federal Budget speech, the below comments are attributable to Dr Nikola Čašule, Head of Research & Investigations at Greenpeace Australia Pacific.
“In this budget, the Coalition Government is putting on a show of taking action on the symptoms of climate change, without doing anything to tackle the root cause: the burning of fossil fuels.
What’s worse, it’s throwing money at fossil fuel infrastructure and false solutions like Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) that only entrench the use of coal, oil and gas.”
$1.2 billion for low emissions technology innovation
“At no point does this measure mention renewable energy, which is already powering swathes of the Australian economy. Instead, the Budget provides $263.7 million dollars for the false solution of CCS. The Coalition Government seems hell-bent on funding everything but proven, existing zero emissions technology like wind and solar”
Oceans Leadership Package
“The biggest threat to our oceans is climate change. Without meaningful climate action to drastically reduce emissions and reach net-zero by 2035, this money is nothing but a bandaid for a bullet hole. Our oceans need strong and meaningful climate action, not token band-aid initiatives.”
National Recovery and Resilience Agency & Australian Climate Service Initiative
“The Federal Government is not being honest about the National Recovery and Resilience Agency. This is an agency set up to deal with the extreme weather events that climate change and the Coalition Government’s inaction on it is turbocharging every day.
“The Coalition Government has consistently refused to take action to address the mining and burning of coal, oil and gas as the cause of climate change, and now Australians are paying for it in the budget.
“Adaptation measures like the National Recovery and Resilience Agency and Australian Climate Service Initiative are necessary because Australians are feeling the impacts of climate change right now, which is driven by the mining and burning of coal, oil and gas. Continuing to use public money to fund gas, a polluting fossil fuel, will only make those climate impacts worse.
“No amount of adaptation and resilience measures will take the place of real action on climate change, which is phasing out fossil fuels, scaling up renewable energy, and reaching net-zero emissions by 2035.”
$58.6m budget allocation for “gas-fired recovery” and $173.6 million for gas infrastructure roads
“Gas is an expensive, polluting fossil fuel that’s driving climate change. Spending hundreds of millions of dollars on climate adaptation measures while funding one of the worst drivers of climate change is not only dangerous, it makes no sense economically.
“Investing in new gas is unlikely to pay economic dividends and so it is a waste of budget spending. Investing further in gas risks locking in huge investment losses, stranded assets and will continue to drive the climate crisis.
“The budget should not be using public money to pay for climate-wrecking fossil fuel infrastructure – it should be used for funding clean and safe renewable energy instead.
“The Federal Government is listening to their gas lobby mates, and committing public funds to a dangerous, polluting industry that is putting Australians at risk.”
Carbon Capture and Storage
“So-called Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is a fossil fuel industry PR concept that has never been proven to work anywhere at scale. The Coalition Government’s allocation of $263.7 million to fantasy CCS projects is a profound waste of public money.
“We already have the solutions to tackling the climate crisis in the form of clean and safe renewable energy, backed up by battery storage. The Coalition Government should not be wasting public money on technology like CCS that doesn’t work when it could be investing in the solutions like wind and solar that are already here.”
Production payment for oil refineries
“The oil industry is a key driver of climate change. Rather than propping up one of the biggest drivers of climate change, the Federal Government should be investing in electric vehicle infrastructure and the electrification of our transport systems, which currently rely on oil and contribute around 19% of Australia’s domestic emissions.”
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