VfCA welcomes ALP’s climate targets while calling for policies that respect science and protect Australia’s animals

Veterinarians for Climate Action

Veterinarians for Climate Action welcomes ALP’s climate targets while calling for policies that respect science and protect Australia’s animals

The Australian Labor Party (ALP) has today produced a climate plan to take to the next election, built on increasing the supply of renewable energy and a greater uptake of electric vehicles. The ALP leader, Anthony Albanese says their plan will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in this country by 43% by 2030.

The ALP emissions target is nowhere near the 75% by 2030 that scientists tell us is necessary to prevent the global temperature rising more than 1.5°C but it is a little better than the LNP target of 26 – 28% by 2030.

Dr Jeannet Kessels, Chair of Veterinarians for Climate Action said “As veterinary professionals, we have a deep respect for science. Science tells us we need to reduce emissions by 75% by 2030, in order to keep warming at safe levels and protect Australia’s animals.”

“The climate targets put forward by our politicians – whichever party they represent – directly impact our precious creatures. We welcome improvements to Australia’s current targets, while calling for stronger targets that mean our beloved pets, precious wildlife and important livestock are protected.”

The ALP plan promises to partner with industry to lower power prices, create jobs and reduce emissions. They anticipate this will see Australia joining the global commitment to deliver climate action to achieve net zero by 2050 and keep the temperature rise to below 1.5°C.

The ALP tell us they will unleash the solar, wind, hydro and wave sources of renewable energy that Australia has abundant access to. The States and Territories already have net zero targets in place and are already developing their renewable energy industries. A national plan to coordinate renewable power production, battery storage and grid development is needed now.

The ALP plan acknowledges the fears of those currently employed in the coal industry as coal exports inevitably collapse as renewable energy becomes the cheaper option. It counters those fears with the promise of significant employment in the renewables sector, strong regional development, emerging green industries like hydrogen and support for agricultural methane reduction.

However, like the Coalition, the ALP has no plan to phase out the coal and gas industries which carry the greatest responsibility for the production of greenhouse gases in this country.

Both major parties have now developed climate policies to take to the next election, with an eye on the voter instead of scientific predictions and recommendations. For decades, climate action in this country has been the subject of political ideology, strongly influenced by power and money. The climate crisis urgently requires a plan guided by scientists and backed by legislation with realistic targets, interim targets and regular reporting.

Dr Kessels, added: “The effects of the climate crisis are already evident in Australia. Severe bushfires have killed or displaced over 3 billion animals, the Great Barrier Reef has lost half its corals, and heatwaves, droughts and floods are impacting livestock.

“In Australia, individuals, communities and businesses are working hard to reduce emissions. Only time will tell whether the ALP plan or the Coalition plan will build constructively on those efforts. Whether party politics can deliver a strategy that slows the rising temperature, protects our environment and ensures a safe future for the animals we love and need. “

About Veterinarians for Climate Action

Veterinarians for Climate Action is a national, not-for-profit, registered charity that advocates for and achieves climate action within and beyond our profession.

Our members include veterinarians, vet nurses and animal carers. Our patron is Professor Peter Doherty, veterinary surgeon, Nobel Laureate and Australian of the Year in 1997. Twenty-eight former Chief Veterinary Officers also publicly work alongside us.

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