The Greens have condemned the NSW Government for fiddling on climate action while the state literally burns.
It follows the announcement that the NSW Government will direct money from the state's Climate Change Fund into household energy efficiency measures while hundreds of millions in fund earmarked for climate action remain unspent.
Greens Climate Spokesperson Justin Field said the announcement is more about politics than policy and lacks the ambition needed to address the impacts of climate change, including drought and bushfires.
“The Greens welcome measures to encourage energy efficiency but ultimately we need to fast-track rapidly reducing emissions from coal and gas fired power and moving to renewable energy to mitigate climate disruption,” he said.
“The real reason for the increase in power prices has been the gold-plating and privatisation of the state's electricity network and retailers. Successive NSW Governments, both Coalition and Labor have sold off critical electricity services that are now being run to maximise profits.
“Failing to reduce carbon emissions and prepare communities for climate change will cost much more in the long term and the Government is leaving households and the state's budget exposed to massive future costs from climate disruption
“The Government has been sitting on hundreds of millions of dollars in the Climate Change Fund which has been underspent for the past three years.
“It makes a mockery of the Government's 'aspirational' net-zero emissions by 2050 target. This is a Government that has shown through its actions that it does not take climate disruption seriously and its target is now dead in the water,” he said.
“Victoria has just invested in installing solar panels on 650,000 Victorian homes, NSW should follow its lead and invest in household solar, helping people reduce or eliminate their power bills altogether.
“At a time when all of NSW is in drought and we have just experienced widespread fires during winter, there is no time to lose when it comes to investing to reduce emissions and prepare the state to adapt to climate disruption.
“The Greens want to see the state's Climate Change Fund boosted and directed to the rapid reduction of emissions and support for communities to adapt to climate change,” Mr Field said.
📷: Guardian Australia