Page 292 - Week 01 - Thursday, 10 February 2022

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Environment—climate action

MS CLAY (Ginninderra) (4.54): Earlier today Minister Rattenbury tabled federal Greens leader Adam Bandt’s response to our call for updated climate action commitments from Australia’s three major political parties. This was following a motion that we passed in this Assembly during COP26 which painted a really dire picture of our future. I want to add to what Minister Rattenbury said about this.

Adam Bandt, of the three leaders so far, is the only one who has actually committed to all the climate actions that we know are really necessary right now to avoid catastrophic climate change. It is a real shame that that is the response that we have had, but that is the response we have had.

There has been a lot of commentary on climate action in recent times. Angus Taylor last year said that it was a fantasy to try and limit warming to 1½ degrees because, he said, it would be hard to do. He is right; it is going to be extremely hard to do. It is going to be a lot harder if we do not do it. Climate change is incremental. Every fraction of a degree and every single action we take matters because every positive action is actually going to make things a bit better, quite a lot better in the future, and every single action we take is going to make a much safer climate for our children.

Given the upcoming federal election, we desperately need major parties in federal government that recognise this and act on this. We need a new federal government that will declare a climate emergency and commit to a rapid and just transition to net zero emissions. We need a federal government that would legislate interim targets that align with the goals of the Paris agreement and that match up to the science.

We need a federal government that will immediately stop new fossil fuel exploration and rapidly phase out the extraction, the export and the use of coal and fossil fuel gas. We need to phase out coal and fossil fuel gas right now. There is not a moment to waste. We need a federal government that will end public subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. We need a federal government that will set a national target of 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2030, or even higher, which is what the Australian Greens have committed to, and we need a federal government that would develop a national zero-emissions transport policy.

We have seen some of the responses from our federal leaders. Today we saw tabled Adam Bandt’s response. We have also seen Scott Morrison’s response. We have not actually seen the response from Anthony Albanese, and we have looked. In my office we have been looking all day for this response. It has not been tabled. It looks an awful lot like Anthony Albanese has not bothered to respond to this. That is actually a real shame. If Anthony Albanese did not bother to respond to Andrew Barr’s letter, which was sent on 17 January—he has had quite a lot of time to do so—that really tells you what you need to know about federal Labor’s policy here.

In the past, federal Labor have refused to end public subsidies to the fossil fuel coal and gas industry. Their policy platform only commits to cut emissions by 43 per cent by 2030, not the 100 per cent renewable electricity, not the full net zero emissions

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