In response to Federal Labor’s climate plan, released today, the Australian Conservation Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer Kelly O’Shanassy said:
“With the plan released today Labor has laid the groundwork for a solid climate policy, but it needs to go further if we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and seize a jobs boom in a low carbon economy.
“It envisages an Australia powered by renewable energy where transport does not pollute – and it sets out ways to drive the change that’s needed to get us to this future.
“It also revamps and gives teeth to the safeguard mechanism, an Abbott-era policy that sets pollution caps and baselines to cut emissions by Australia’s biggest polluters.
“ACF is encouraged by the restored role of the Climate Change Authority so it advises government with annual policy assessments measured against international developments.
“ACF believes this role should be expanded to include a review of targets and a capacity to ratchet up targets in response to updated scientific information.
“The plan is strong on renewables, anticipating an electricity grid that is more than 82% renewable by 2030 and shares the benefits of renewables with many households that are presently left out.
“This plan is more detailed and more ambitious – on renewable energy, transport transition, agriculture and clean exports – than the plan released by Prime Minister Morrison before the Glasgow climate summit.
“Labor’s plan would reduce climate pollution by around 100 million tonnes more than the Coalition’s plan – the equivalent of taking 20 million cars off the road or planting 1.5 billion trees to sequester carbon.
“Labor’s target to cut emissions by 43% by 2030 should be stronger, because all the science says action to cut emissions this decade is crucial.
“While Labor’s 2030 target is better than the Coalition’s, it falls well short of what science says is needed to avoid the worst of climate change and it’s not as good as those set by the UK, the USA or the EU, or the target recommended by the Business Council of Australia.
“The biggest and most in-depth survey ever conducted of Australians’ opinions on climate change found a majority support action to cut climate pollution by at least 50% by 2030.”