The next federal Government must meet the global call for stronger action on climate change

The deal endorsed by all countries at the 2021 global climate change conference sends a clear message to the next federal government that Australia must commit to faster and fairer action on climate change, delay is no longer an option.

The “Glasgow Climate Pact’ requires countries to strengthen their climate targets in 2022 and endorsed an accelerated coal phase down and an end to fossil fuel subsidies.

ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said:

“With an election just around the corner ACOSS wants to see all candidates support a fair, fast and inclusive climate change plan with policy and measures to put people with the least, impacted workers and communities at the front.

“Australia was singled out for being a laggard at this international climate talks, for putting the interest of fossil fuel companies ahead of protecting people from the ravishes of more dangerous climate change. This has to stop.

“We need to accelerate the transition to clean energy and economy this decade, 2050 is too late.  Every degree, every minute matters to the lives of people in Australia and the world, being impacted by worsening extreme weather and sea level rises.

“We need a plan to ensure that people on lower incomes can access clean technologies like rooftop solar, batteries, and electric vehicles and are not disadvantaged by poorly targeted subsidies, levies and inequitable cost recovery measures.

“We could relieve the suffering of millions of people living in sub-standard housing, create jobs and cut emissions, by implementing mandatory energy efficiency standards in rental properties, and by Government investing in a large-scale energy efficiency and rooftop solar program for low-income housing.

“We could help close the gap, with First Nations communities front and centre of a transition plan. We could empower and support First Nations communities to access and manage renewable energy farms, carbon offset projects, manage country and make housing efficient and self-sufficient.

“We could give fossil fuel workers and communities certainty, if we establish an Energy Transition Authority, a dedicated agency with quarantined funding to support worker retraining, redeployment and to work with local government and communities on plans to transform and diversify their economies and support their transition.

“We can fund a fair, fast and inclusive climate change plan by phasing out the more than $10 billion dollars of public funds currently being spent on polluting fossil fuel subsidies and funding expensive and polluting fossil fuel technologies like Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and gas.

“Continuing to delay action on climate change will only cost the economy and society more and make poverty and inequality in Australia worse.

“The next federal Government has the opportunity to go from laggard to world leader by cutting pollution and creating healthier, thriving communities while boosting our economy.”