Candidates for the Federal seat of Newcastle laid out their commitments to climate action tonight in a forum hosted by local community groups.
Candidates responded to six climate commitments that are supported by science:
* Reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emission by 75% from 2010 levels by 2030
* Generate 100% of Australia’s electricity from renewable energy and energy storage by 2030
* End all public funding and subsidies for coal, oil and gas and redirect those public funds and subsidies to enabling renewables
* Clean up transport and drive the shift to electric vehicles
* Increase Australia’s climate finance to $3B over 2020-2025 and scale up Australia’s contributions to global climate finance to provide a fair share by 2030
* Develop and deliver a Trees for Climate Plan to reduce climate pollution by at least 1 billion tonnes by 2030 and to enhance biodiversity outcomes.
A scorecard that summarises their responses is attached.
Both Charlotte McCabe (Greens candidate) and Emily Brollo (Animal Justice Party) committed to all 6 climate policies. Newcastle’s sitting member, Hon Sharon Claydon, responded no to 5 of the 6 policies, only committing to accelerating Australia’s transition to electric vehicles. Ms Claydon committed to reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions by 43% by 2030 (short of the 75% reduction commitment sought) and to generating 82% of Australia’s energy needs by 2030 (short of the 100% commitment sought).
“I was very disappointed that the Federal member for Newcastle, Sharon Clayon was unable to commit to the decisive climate and energy policies and actions we desperately need to protect Newcastle and the nation,” said Ms Alexa Stuart, School Strike for Climate Action leader.
Ms Claydon spoke in detail about the Australian Labor Party’s election platform, the ‘Powering Australia Plan’. (https://www.alp.org.au/policies/powering-australia)
Candidates from the Liberal Party, One Nation and United Australia Party were invited but declined to participate.
“This is the decisive decade to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by three-quarters, according to the United Nations and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,” said Jacquie Svenson, convenor of Newcastle Climate Change Response.
“The Newcastle community cares deeply about climate action and it will influence how we vote,” said Ms Svenson. “For decades, Novocastrians have been putting solar on our roofs and advocating a fair and fast transition from fossil fuels.
“Floods, fires and heatwaves are becoming more frequent and intense. Listening to Binnie O’Dwyer tonight from her Lismore home which was flooded twice, we know we need to turn our concern into political action on 21 May.”
Guest speakers at tonight’s forum
Dr Karl Mallon: a leading international expert on climate change physical risk analysis who has worked for 30 years in climate change mitigation, policy and technical analysis worldwide.
Binnie O’Dwyer: normally lives in Lismore with her 2 teenagers and works as a solicitor at the Aboriginal Legal Service. Binnie’s home was flooded twice in the recent extreme weather events and her family are now dispersed.
Dr Jacquie Svenson, Newcastle Climate Change Response 0434 223 789
Ms Alexa Stuart, School Strikers for Climate Action 0423 361 030