Climate features big in Budget but little relief for cost of living underscores need to hasten renewables transition
The 2023 Federal Budget has delivered more cash for climate initiatives than any other in the last decade, but Australia must ramp up its renewables transition to ease the pain of rapidly rising bills.
Nicki Hutley, Climate Councillor and leading economist, who was in today’s Budget lockup, says big investments in climate action make for a ‘refreshing change’.
“This really is the first budget in a decade to take climate seriously as both an opportunity and a threat.
“From a climate perspective, this Budget is a refreshing change from what we have had to endure for many years now. Climate change was mentioned 220 times – it’s not front and centre – but it’s a vast improvement on recent years.
“For a start, there is a detailed discussion around the fiscal and economic risks of climate change, with confronting figures such as the potential 7% drop in GDP over the remainder of this century if we fail to act.
“Reassuringly, the Government is living up to its pre-election climate commitments with investment in renewable energy, the grid, electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, and a cornucopia of other measures, which all add up.
“There are state and federal partnerships and there’s also funding to help our Pacific neighbours in the fight against climate change. Plus more much-needed measures for disaster resilience.
“This is a most welcome step forward, but far more still needs to be done. We need to land a detailed, workable Safeguard Mechanism. We need to go harder and faster on the energy transition. And, we need to stop subsidising fossil fuels and approving new developments.”
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