NSW environment minister sticks it to Morrison and calls for climate action

Matt Kean, NSW’s environment minister, says voters need to “send a message” at the ballot box if we want climate action.

Complaining that it is too hard is not a solution. Saying it is up to others to come up with a plan is a cop-out. The community expects our leaders to get on with it, or get out of the way”, Kean said on climate action, in a keynote address to the Better Futures Forum  this morning.

We need to send a message … that failing to deliver on the promise of what we can be is not an option”, he affirmed.

Image: Better Futures Forum via The Age

The burden of taking action against climate change does not fall on the individual.

But one way to communicate that there is no room or time for negotiation, is taking away the vote.

Kean’s comments follow the deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce and PM Scott Morrison shamefully displacing the burden of climate action.

When questioned about the LNP’s stance on an aim of net zero emissions, Joyce said: “We don’t actually come up with the plan. The CSIRO, other competent people, come up with the plan.

In a recent press conference, Morrison placed great emphasis on the role of developing countries in new emissions. Yet at the same time, Victoria just approved the development of a major gas well.

Australia “should not be a climate laggard”, says Kean in his speech.

We should be a climate leader because we can do what other countries can’t – because here in Australia we can protect our planet in ways that lift the living standards of all humanity“.

But Australia does lag, infamously, behind many of our trading partners.

The Morrison government’s emissions commitment has been widely criticised. It’s current aim is to reduce 2030 emissions by 26-28 per cent compared to 2005 emissions.

Comparatively, the US is striving for a 50-52 per cent reduction.

South Korea, Japan and China have set an impressive target of net zero for 2050 or shortly after.

Former UN chief Ban Ki-Moon, also delivering a key note address, urged Morrison to step up and labeled Australia’s current emissions goal as “insufficient“.

The world is looking to Australia to take its place amongst the international community and lift its national ambition on climate,” he said.

The shift to a zero-carbon world is now inevitable. Australia is well placed to be a global renewable energy leader in this transition. The opportunities are enormous if you choose to get ahead of the challenge…

Ethically, the toll of inaction on climate is incalculable. Economically, failing to set ambitious, credible emissions targets in line with the rest of the world poses a huge threat to Australia’s future prosperity and international standing.

Australia risks finding itself on the wrong side of carbon-border tariffs as other nations move ahead, seizing the opportunities of the zero-carbon age”, Ki-Moon stated.