If the federal government won't lead, then it's up to the states to step up.

The Australian Conservation Foundation today warned Australia risked becoming a ‘failed state’ on climate policy and welcomed South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill’s call for leadership after the federal government rejected an emissions scheme for the electricity sector as part of itslong awaited climate policy review.

“If the federal government is incapable of leading, then the states must step up in the national interest,” said Paul Sinclair, ACF’s Campaigns Director. 

“A national plan to cut pollution and transition the energy market would make sense, but a state-led plan is better than no plan at all.

“The failure of the Abbott and Turnbull governments to lead on climate puts at risk billions of dollars of investment in clean energy and jobs, fails to meet international pollution commitments and doesn’t give the reef a fighting chance of survival.

“Australia’s pollution is still going up while old, inefficient and unreliable coal power stations are clogging up the market, and billions of dollars of investment and new jobs are going offshore because the Abbott and Turnbull governments have seemed more interested in scare campaigns.

"Australia is in danger of becoming a 'failed state' in terms of its national climate policy.

“We welcome the leadership show by the SA Premier today, and are happy to work with any government to cut pollution and create a safe and thriving future for Australian communities,” Dr Sinclair said.

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