Greens slam NSW for voting against developing a climate plan at COAG meeting
NSW Energy Minister Don Harwin has voted against an ACT Government motion at the COAG Energy Council for a national emissions reduction scheme for the electricity sector, despite State Parliament debating numerous motions criticising the government for its lack of energy policy and emissions reduction strategy this week.
The proposal from Greens ACT Minister for Environment Shane Rattenbury asked for work to develop a suitable greenhouse gas emissions reduction mechanism for the electricity sector. The plan was opposed and blocked by the Liberal/National Federal Government and the Liberal/National states governments of NSW, South Australia and Tasmania.
Greens Energy spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham said “Energy Minister Don Harwin failed the people of NSW by voting against a greenhouse gas emissions reduction plan.
“The Berejiklian Government has hitched its energy policy to the Federal government and now that the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) is scuttled there is a total energy policy vacuum in Australia’s largest state.
“Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT all have comprehensive state-based policy to transition their states to renewable energy and reduce emission. NSW has no credible policy.
“All NSW has is ‘aspirational’ target of zero carbon emissions by 2050, but that’s a long way off and there is no credible plan or policy mechanism to reach that goal and no sense of commitment from the State Government.
“Today Minister Harwin voted with the coal hugging dinosaurs to reject developing a greenhouse gas emissions reduction plan that could help NSW lower its pollution and meet its targets.
“It’s an embarrassment that NSW now sides with the hapless Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor and his ‘fair dinkum energy’ rhetoric – that is fair dinkum ridiculous.
“The abandonment of the NEG has left NSW exposed. The only clear energy policy for the NSW Government was relying on a plan from their Liberal/National colleagues in Canberra who are in disarray on energy policy as well as other areas.
“The community expects leadership and a comprehensive plan for reduce our growing greenhouse emissions by planning for an end to coal, a just transition for coal-affected communities and investment in renewable energy.
“NSW can be a renewables powerhouse, with all the jobs, business opportunities and cost-effective clean energy it can bring,” he said.