Greens MP Jan Barham has welcomed the adoption of strong goals to limit global warming at the United Nations conference in Paris and called on the NSW Government and other parties to support climate change legislation that has already been tabled in Parliament by the Greens.
“Premier Baird and Environment Minister Speakman can no longer sit on the sideline and avoid the issue of climate change. They need to take decisive, strong and transparent action,” Ms Barham said.
“The international agreement to attempt to limits global warming to 1.5 degrees and ensure warming is well below 2 degrees puts the onus onto governments at every level to play their part. The UN conference has recognised that developed countries must lead the way, and it’s clear that the Australian Government’s targets and policies are inadequate.
“New South Wales has the capacity to start a rapid transition to clean energy and reduced emissions across our society and all sectors of the economy.
“Now that there is a clear international commitment to strive for a 1.5 degree limit on warming, we need to lock in action by adopting a legislated target to reach net zero emissions by 2040 and ensuring all government agencies are working with communities and industry to plan the transition that will get us there.
“The Greens have a Bill before the NSW Upper House that would set in place a target of net zero by 2040, require governments to develop the plans for emissions reductions and climate change adaptation, and hold every government agency accountable by giving the public the capacity to initiate legal proceedings against any policies that are contrary to the plans for climate action.
“The Paris Agreement has also recognised the need for governments to address the full range of impacts of global warming, including on health, agriculture, biodiversity and emergency management.
“The community has the right to expect elected governments to be transparent and accountable about how they address their duty of care to current and future generations.
“When Parliament resumes next February, every party should show they’re serious about fulfilling this global commitment by supporting our strong and sensible framework for climate action consistent with aiming for a 1.5 degree limit on global warming.
“The global momentum for action is growing and with an agreement to review progress every 5 years it will only become stronger. Any Government or political party that doesn’t see the writing on the wall for fossil fuels, provide a plan to transition to clean energy and put an end to new coal mining will be undermining our state’s position in the future global economy as well as harming efforts to address climate change.
“This global agreement wouldn’t have happened without the strong movement of activists, campaigners and a growing community movement working for change, by calling on governments and businesses to give up on fossil fuels and embrace the opportunity to transform our society and create new, sustainable industries.
“The Paris Agreement marks the beginning of a new phase in the campaign for climate action, and now the NSW Government must respond with support for genuine efforts and change in our state,” Ms Barham said.
For Further Comment, please contact Jan Barham directly on 0447 853 891