Morrison Government must stop obstructing critical action in climate

SYDNEY, Dec 20, 2018 - The federal government would have supported NSW Energy Minister Don Harwin’s attempt to put climate change back on the COAG agenda if it was serious about fighting climate change and lowering power prices.

At yesterday’s COAG meeting Mr Harwin pushed for NSW’s net-zero emissions target by 2050 to be rolled out nationally to put downward pressure on power prices and reduce climate pollution by introducing more renewable energy.

“Australians want climate leadership from their governments. They have shown they will reward parties that can offer it and punish those that don’t. After a string of electoral defeats across the country that message is finally beginning to sink in for some members of the Coalition,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Communications Campaigner Martin Zavan said.

“NSW is sick of being embarrassed by the rabble in Canberra and has broken ranks. Minister Harwin’s plan for NSW to pursue a clean-energy future is exactly what the people want and our climate desperately needs.”

NSW Nature Conservation Council CEO Kate Smolski said: “We welcome Mr Harwin calling out the federal government’s disastrous posturing on climate and energy, and we urge the Morrison government to stop obstructing measures that will cut emissions and power prices.

“NSW would have more credibility on these issues if it took some of its own good advice. While the Berejiklian government has a target of net-zero emissions, it lacks the policies to get there.

“Mr Harwin’s comments are a welcome first step and we look forward to seeing more policy details in the lead-up to the March state election.”

Minister Harwin’s proposal was supported by the Labor states but thwarted by Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor, who would not allow the issue to be debated.

Mr Taylor described the proposal as a “distraction”, claiming the government would meet its 26 percent emissions reduction target “in a canter”. [1]

This is despite the federal environment department advising we are not on track to meet our targets with emissions are at a four-year high and growing. [2]

Meanwhile, Queensland Energy Minister Anthony Lynham warned a Morrison Government proposal for a default electricity price could raise Queenslanders’ electricity bills up to 30 percent.

Notes

[1] www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-19/states-split-at-coag-energy-meeting/10636230

[2] www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/australia-s-emissions-continue-to-climb-reaching-seven-year-highs-20181130-p50jd5.html

For interviews

Greenpeace Australia Pacific Communications Campaigner, Martin Zavan

0424 295 422

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NSW Nature Conservation Council Communications Manager James Tremain

0419 272 254

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