The Australian Greens’ ‘Powering Past Coal and Gas‘ climate and energy plan is the first policy that matches the scale and pace of action the climate science demands.
The plan’s target of net zero by 2035 is in line with the Climate Council’s rigorous scientific assessment of the speed with which Australia, as a developed country with abundant renewable energy potential, should aim to achieve net zero emissions
Any shot at limiting warming to 1.5°C requires drawing down significant amounts of greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere. The Greens’ plan recognises this, and proposes achieving 100 million tonnes of ‘negative emissions’ by 2040, although it does not elaborate on how this will be achieved.
Importantly, the plan covers a range of issues with Australia’s contribution to the global climate crisis. It seeks to slash Australia’s domestic emissions this decade but also to rapidly shift away from fossil fuel exports to clean exports, including a complete phase-out of thermal coal exports by 2030.
Along with these targets, the plan includes a number of innovative policy measures to get Australia there while supporting Australian communities and industries including:
- A $25 billion FutureGrid fund to enable the rewiring of Australia
- Subsidies to electrify homes
- A levy on coal exports, with the funds raised used to support disaster recovery and resilience, as well as investment in green hydrogen and green metals
- A national energy efficiency scheme
- An economy-wide price on carbon
However, the plan does not cover Australia’s responsibility to support vulnerable communities abroad with adapting to the impacts of climate change, nor does it elaborate on Australia’s role in supporting decarbonisation of the world’s developing economies. The plan could also be strengthened with clearer steps and targets for phasing out gas production and exports from Australia.
Late last year, the Climate Council provided an assessment of the Liberal Party’s climate policy and the Labor Party’s policy.
For interviews please contact Jane Gardner on 0438 130 905.
The Climate Council is Australia’s leading community-funded climate change communications organisation. We provide authoritative, expert and evidence-based advice on climate change to journalists, policymakers, and the wider Australian community.
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