Government’s climate policy failing people on low-incomes

The Coalition’s climate package does little to tackle climate change or to protect people on low-incomes who are more vulnerable to its impacts as well as high energy prices.

“The Coalition has not increased its woefully inadequate 2030 emissions reduction targets, or outlined a plan to transition equitably to clean energy with protections for people on low-incomes, ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie said.

“This summer’s extreme weather of heatwaves, fires and floods, made worse by climate change, have destroyed people’s homes and impacted livelihoods and health, especially for people experiencing poverty and disadvantage.

“There is no room for ideology when it comes to protecting people’s lives and livelihoods, we must rapidly shift away from fossil fuels like coal to clean energy sources. People on low-incomes must be supported.

‘’It is disappointing that the most effective and least costly policy to reduce carbon pollution – a price on carbon – seems to be off the political agenda.

“We welcomed recent government announcements to curb poor retail electricity pricing, but ongoing failure to implement a plan to transition equitably to clean affordable energy is contributing to electricity price rises and leaving low-income households unable to benefit from home solutions like rooftop solar.

“While we welcome the announced measures to improve energy efficiency, the biggest opportunities that will make the biggest difference to people and emissions have been overlooked.

“The government should be working with COAG on implementing mandatory energy efficiency standards for rental properties, co-funding energy efficiency and solar in new and existing social housing and Indigenous communities, and providing funds for homeowners on low-incomes to invest in solar and use energy more efficiently.

“Climate change is a social justice and intergenerational equity issue. We cannot afford continue to tinker around the edges. Genuine action and support is needed.”