Baird’s epiphany on climate change welcome, but he must deal with coal

MEDIA RELEASE – 3 November 2016

The Greens welcomed the Baird Government’s announcement that they would set a net-zero emissions target by 2050 and allocate money to encourage energy efficiency and renewable energy, however, they said banning new coal mines, a state based renewable energy target (RET), and formulating a concrete transition strategy away from fossil fuels, was necessary to deal with climate change.

NSW Greens energy and resources spokesperson, Jeremy Buckingham said: “It’s good to see the Baird Government shedding their dinosaur attitudes and changing their philosophy on climate change, however, a 2050 net-zero emissions target will not be reached unless we deal with coal.”

“I’m pleased the government is adopting Greens’ initiatives, such as the setting state based emission reduction targets, funding renewable energy and energy efficiency, and providing incentives for electric vehicles.

“Of course, we need more than far-off targets. We need a ban on new coal mines, a state based RET and a transition plan for a rapid and managed switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

“The Greens have previously announced our policy for reducing stamp duty and registration fees, allowing travel in transit lanes and government procurement policies to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles.  I’m pleased to see this is on the Government’s agenda.

“If Premier Baird can shrug off the climate dinosaurs in the Coalition, then he has a lot to gain politically, and economically in terms of jobs and investment for NSW, by becoming a champion of renewable energy and climate action.”

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