South Australia’s net zero ambition is an example New South Wales should outdo

NSW Greens MP Jan Barham has welcomed the South Australian Government’s target of net zero emissions by 2050 and has called on all parties in NSW to support ambition and accountability to address climate change.

“States and territories can lead the way on climate action, and with the federal government holding to inadequate targets it’s important that they do,” Ms Barham said.

“I commend the South Australian Government for commissioning the Low Carbon Economy Expert Panel’s report, and for taking on board the clear advice that we can and must transform to a zero emissions society in the next few decades.

“New South Wales needs similar ambition and commitment. The Climate Change Bill that I’ve introduced into Parliament would mandate a target of net zero emissions by 2040, and put in place the planning framework and legal accountability to ensure current and future governments keep us on target.”

Ms Barham noted that the Baird Government had failed to show leadership or take responsibility for climate action.

“Unfortunately the Premier didn’t lodge the submission his environment department had prepared calling for stronger federal targets for post-2020 emissions reductions. The NSW Government has also been quick to talk down the possibility that the state could meet requirements the Greens’ legislation would set in place.

“Will NSW Labor show the same commitment to lock in strong climate action as their South Australian counterparts?” Ms Barham asked.

“Climate science has made clear for decades that we need to limit global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions rapidly. Experts in energy and other sectors have shown that the transformation is not only possible, but that the benefits of acting early are great and the failure to act brings with it significant risks and costs.

“It’s disappointing that the NSW Government continues following the pessimistic line pushed by vested interests rather than recognising the capacity and power of our people and industries to act.

“The United Nations conference in Paris is just days away and every community, organisation and government at every level should be contributing to global action. This isn’t just a matter for the Australian Government, especially when their actions have undermined international efforts. At state level, every party should be backing sensible emissions targets and legislation to deliver on climate action,” Ms Barham concluded.