Canberra Liberals have no plan for climate change, put ‘con’ in conservative: ACT Greens

Australian Greens

The Canberra Liberals have no plan for climate action in the ACT.

In an interview this morning with 666 Canberra, leader of the Canberra Liberals Alistair Coe showed that the Canberra Liberals have no plans to tackle the climate emergency or to help mitigate and adapt the ACT to the realities of climate change. This will leave Canberrans with higher bills and a lower quality of life.

“Asked more than once what the Canberra Liberals have in store for climate action in Canberra, Alistair Coe simply could not answer the question,” ACT Greens leader Shane Rattenbury said today.

“It’s clear that the Canberra Liberals have no plan for Canberra. It’s clear that just like their colleagues up on the Hill, they’d rather sit back and watch the planet burn rather than show the political leadership required to make the necessary transition to a zero emissions future.

“The Canberra Liberals clearly think there’s no place for Government to help Canberrans, particularly those on a low income, in this important transition. The Canberra Liberals would rather have those on low incomes living in houses that bake in summer and freeze in winter, struggling to live on rising energy bills.

“This is despite the fact that our energy efficiency programs have saved Canberrans a total of $240 million, including $15 million saved off the energy bills of low income households. The existing scheme has assisted more than 45% of Canberra households, including 17,900 low income priority households and 15,000 rental properties.

“This is also despite the fact that a long-term transition to all-electric and the phase of our gas will insulate Canberrans from the inevitable price rises that come with a carbon-constrained future.

“At every turn – in every motion or debate on climate change – all we’ve heard from the Canberra Liberals is ridicule and scepticism rather than actual climate change policy.

“The Canberra Liberals wilfully misrepresent Government climate change initiatives. For example, Car Free Days are an opportunity for our community to experience a small-scale festival, without cars – akin to what happens during the Multicultural Festival, or Enlighten, which both create car-free zones.

“The Canberra Liberals can’t be trusted to deliver the climate action Canberra needs. They’re really putting the ‘con’ in conservative.”

“The ACT is proudly the nation’s climate action capital, and the Greens are unapologetically ambitious when it comes to putting our climate first – for the sake of people and planet,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“The vast majority of Canberrans want to see real action on climate change. And we’re committed to delivering just that.

Meanwhile, ACT Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury yesterday announced a long-term vision to secure a clean, green energy future for Canberra. This includes national leadership in areas such as:

  • Developing a plan for achieving zero emissions from gas use by 2045
  • All new Government buildings being all-electric
  • All new public schools being all-electric
  • Adopting a social cost of carbon for emissions
  • Transitioning to a zero emissions bus fleet by 2040
  • Meeting emission reduction targets without the purchase of offsets
  • Developing a pathway to a zero emissions health sector
  • Transitioning to a zero emissions government passenger vehicle fleet.

The strategy also commits the Government to:

  • Plant hundreds of thousands of new trees and other ‘green infrastructure’ as part of a new 30% tree canopy cover target to help keep our city cool
  • Deliver more battery storage for homes and small businesses
  • ‘Future-proof’ our city to encourage more developers to build more all-electric and zero emissions suburbs, reducing our emissions and cutting energy bills for Canberra residents
  • Require more climate-wise buildings for the Canberra of the future, not the past
  • Prioritise investments in sustainable transport, like light rail, buses and active transport, including adopting leading infrastructure standards
  • Improve energy efficiency options for Canberra homes, small businesses and schools
  • Deliver new programs that will reduce energy use, cut energy bills and improve comfort for renters and home owners
  • Legislate to guarantee that our 100% renewable electricity target will always be maintained, once achieved by 2020
  • Divert more waste from landfill, including green bins that can take organic wast that can take organic waste from households, programs to recycle commercial organics, and new facilities to recycle organics sustainably
  • Do more for climate justice, ensuring that vulnerable and low-income Canberrans are supported in the clean energy and renewables transition.

Statement ends

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