Last night Scott Morrison delivered Australia’s latest budget. However, it had a conspicuous absence. Once again, it failed to address climate change, with Morrison neglecting to even mention these seemingly taboo words in his budget speech.
Despite Australia’s greenhouse gas pollution levels continuing to rise for three years running, spending on climate issues is projected to drop from $3 billion this year to $1.6 billion next year (1).
Not only that, renewable energy in Australia was also hung out to dry.
Firstly, the Federal Government announced that the Renewable Energy Target will be phased out from 2020. Meanwhile, the fossil fuel industry will continue to receive billions of dollars in government handouts each year.
Secondly, the Federal Government confirmed that they will not adopt the Opposition’s 50% renewable energy target. Instead, millions will be funnelled into the National Energy Guarantee (NEG), which in its current form is woefully inadequate when it comes to tackling climate change, and could bring Australia’s renewables boom grinding to a halt.
This flies in the face of public sentiment. Polling conducted this week found that 82% of Australians want to retain or increase Federal Government spending on renewable energy (2). The Australian public knows that clean, affordable and reliable renewables and storage are our future, it’s just that the Federal Government seems to have missed the memo.
But what’s lacking in political will is made up for in community determination. With the Federal Government slamming the breaks on renewable energy growth, our role to push for renewable energy and storage technology is more important than ever.
The pursuit of clean energy and a sustainable future is squarely in our hands. So let’s embrace the rollout of clean, affordable and reliable renewable energy and storage technology.
We’re not getting to let this budget get in the way.