A big budget spend, generating more greenhouse gas emissions
Media release ‒ 12 May 2021
Veterinarians for Climate Action (VfCA) is disappointed to see a federal budget which continues to prop up the ageing fossil fuel industry and drive catastrophic climate change which is affecting billions of Australian animals.
Dr Helen Scott-Orr, former Chief Veterinary Officer for NSW and member of VfCA, said:
“As other countries invest in clean renewable energy, Australia continues to support and fund fossil fuel industries. To recover from climate change, we expected investment in green technology with a corresponding explosion of green jobs. Instead, the government announced further spending on fossil fuel industries that will generate more greenhouse gas emissions.
Veterinarians and the animal care community experience firsthand the devastating impacts of climate change on animals. We want government spending to support the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, and to protect our beloved pets, livestock and wildlife.”
Dr Scott-Orr said that VfCA was deeply concerned that funding billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money to the fossil industry would lead to further emissions and result in worsening climate change.
“Climate change makes extreme weather events like fires and floods more frequent and more intense. We’ve already lost billions of animals to climate change impacts, why does this budget fail to recognise that? This government’s obsession with coal, oil and gas is disastrous for Australia,” Dr Scott Orr said.
At least thirty-four people lost their lives in the severe 2019-20 bushfires and nearly three billion animals – mammals, reptiles, birds, and frogs – were killed or displaced.
Dr Helen Scott-Orr added “The $600 million allocated in the budget towards the establishment of a new National Recovery and Resilience Agency is welcome. People need help to adapt to climate change and to survive bushfires and floods, to rebuild lost homes and reclaim lost businesses. But extreme weather events are predicted to worsen if the global temperature continues to rise and that will happen unless governments have mitigation measures in place.”
VfCA is calling on the Australian Government to develop and implement robust plans to reduce gas emissions with a target of at least net zero emissions by 2050. Adoption of the Climate Change Bill will allow an independent assessment of the risks, a net zero emissions target, interim targets, planning and reporting so that we can save the environment, future generations of people and all the animals we love.