Zero is good. Now we need to slash emissions in most important decade of our lives

Smart Energy Council

We welcome the Morrison Government’s commitment to a target of net zero greenhouse gas pollution and now, to achieve this target, we expect the government to drive the slashing of emissions this decade.

In the face of increasingly dangerous global warming, we all want a future where we can continue to enjoy life in this beautiful country.

The lion’s share of pollution from coal, gas and oil needs to be cut this decade if we are to avoid the catastrophic impacts of climate change. The Morrison Government’s announcement today doesn’t detail how this will be done.

At a minimum, the Morrison Government needs to match the 2030 targets of the United States, the United Kingdom and trading partners like the European Union and Japan. This will require a commitment for Australia to at least halve our climate emissions by 2030.

Getting to net zero emissions means we need immediate, active plans to boost the renewable energy transformation, to shift to renewably-powered transport, to protect and restore our forests and bushlands, and to end public subsidies for fossil fuel industries.

Regional and urban communities can share in the opportunities we have as a nation. We can position ourselves as a global superpower of renewable energies and clean industries. We have natural advantages that are the envy of the world.

Credible action on climate will safeguard our communities, protect our health from climate impacts, and deliver an economic and jobs boon for Australia.

Failure to act will leave communities and the places we love exposed to increasingly disastrous weather events, such as droughts, heatwaves, megafires and storms. It will also leave us lagging further behind in the global race for new industries based on renewable energy.

Of particular concern with the announcement today is that the details of the deal the federal National Party obtained from the Liberal Party are not transparent. It would be deeply counter-productive if approaches have been agreed to extend the use of fossil fuels, or support further destruction of forests and bushland.

We are pleased the Morrison Government is recognising the desire of the millions of Australians we support and represent to set a long term net-zero target. We look forward to working with the Morrison Government, and all federal decision makers, to put in place the rapid reductions in climate pollution needed for a healthy and prosperous future.

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