Mining and burning coal and gas is the leading cause of the climate crisis. Coal and gas are causing more extreme floods, fires and droughts in NSW. The growing climate crisis threatens our safety and health, our food and water and even the air we breathe.
As the world's 4th largest coal exporter, NSW has a key role to play in tackling the climate crisis. Yet the Liberal, National and Labor parties all take big donations from coal and gas corporations and back new coal and gas. The Liberal-National Government has even approved 26 coal and gas projects since the Paris Agreement.
Without a plan to phase out coal and gas we face an uncertain future with more extreme weather and disruption, yet the Liberal, National and Labor parties won’t move fast enough because they’re addicted to fossil fuels.
The Greens don’t take corporate donations, including from the fossil fuel industry. We have a plan to keep coal and gas in the ground and make coal and gas corporations pay for the damage they’re causing to communities and the environment.
This election you have the opportunity to put the Greens in the balance of power so we can:
- Phase out coal and gas by 2030
- Transition NSW to 100% renewable energy
- Make fossil fuel companies pay their fair share of tax
- Prepare communities to better withstand the climate crisis
- Provide a just transition for workers
Phase out Coal and Gas 2030
The climate emergency threatens our safety and health, our sources of water and our capacity to grow food, and the air we breathe. If we continue to mine and burn coal, oil and gas, we’ll face increasing bushfires, heatwaves, floods, droughts, coastal flooding and catastrophic events.
We’ll also feel the economic stress: we’ll pay more for food, insurance, health services and energy bills. The climate crisis will also worsen inequality - with those already marginalised experiencing the worst impacts of a warming planet.
Despite the climate crisis NSW contributes two thirds of Australia’s thermal coal exports making it the 4th largest coal exporter globally.
In this critical decade for climate action, we need to keep coal and gas in the ground, and rapidly shift to renewable energy.
That’s why the Greens have a plan to immediately ban the construction of new coal and gas infrastructure and phase out coal and gas by 2030.
A transition plan to look after workers and communities
We don’t need to choose between taking urgent climate action and supporting coal communities. We can do both.
Liberal and Labor are lying to workers and communities, saying coal can keep going for decades when science says it clearly can’t.
There is so much uncertainty surrounding coal power, as we navigate our way into a new decarbonised future. That uncertainty comes from the privatisation of our energy network. These assets are essential because they provide the power that allow every other industry and household to function, and they’re essential because they provide thousands of high quality jobs for the people in the community. How have we allowed the lives and fates of so many people to be left to be dictated by market forces?
The Greens have a plan to take the power back. Because to face down the climate crisis will take a level of planning, organisation and power only available at a government level.
By taking the energy network back into public hands, we can work together with communities to manage their evolution into powerhouses of the green revolution.
We need to take the power for these decisions back, to regain control of these assets as we navigate the coming years and decades of transition. To make sure that the wealth and prosperity generated in the region stays in the region, and helps grow the region for that prosperity to grow for decades and generations to come.
Once we have these assets back in public ownership, we can use the consultation and insights of a Transition Authority, to steer the transition. We can take the profits generated by these assets, as they see out their life, to fund investment in the local community, to create flagship heavy industry and manufacturing projects that are also in public hands, to build our collective prosperity, rather than letting that money escape into the already deep pockets of shareholders and corporations through dividends, bonuses and other extracted profits.
We need a job for job guarantee, coordinated by a localised and empowered transition authority, that responds to the needs and desires of the community. For some people, an early retirement may be appropriate, for others, financial support while the restudy and reskill for emerging industries identified by the authority - or other careers if that’s what they prefer.
A transition doesn’t need to be a scary thing, with calculated levels of acceptable loss for workers and a private profit motive. A transition can be empowering, the exciting start of the next chapter for historically coal dependent communities. We don’t need to choose between taking urgent climate action and supporting coal communities. We can do both.
BUILDING A CLIMATE SMART WESTERN SYDNEY
The climate crisis means we will see more frequent and extreme floods, bushfires and heat waves. Western Sydney is one of the regions most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change as we have seen with the increase in extreme flooding and heatwaves.
Western Sydney is suffering hot and getting hotter, and seemingly endless urban sprawl is destroying communities, the quality of life and the environment. One day in 2020 Penrith was officially the hottest place on earth with a temperature of 48.9 degrees!
Floods are also getting more extreme. In 2022 the Hawkesbury-Nepean experienced two major floods that exceeded historical records and caused widespread damage and disruption to thousands of residents. Instead of acting to end housing development on Western Sydney floodplains the NSW Government is trying to raise the Warragamba dam wall to facilitate even more urban sprawl.
The Greens have a plan to mitigate the impacts of climate change in Western Sydney, reduce the impacts of floods and end development on our floodplains and keep Western Sydney's towns and streets cooler in the summer.
The Greens will:
- Legislate a ‘Green Belt’ urban growth boundary for Greater Sydney
- Establish an independent statutory body to develop and deliver an ambitious state-wide urban cooling strategy, coordinating industry, State government and local governments and monitoring progress
- Grow our urban forest with LGA specific tree canopy targets, large scale tree planting programs and improved tree protection laws
- Ban development under the 1 in 500 year flood level on the Hawkesbury-Nepean and offer buybacks and land swaps for residents living under the 1 in 100 year flood level.
- Lower the operating level of Warragamba Dam by 12 metres to increase flood resilience
- Double the capacity of the desalination plant and Invest in purified water recycling
- Reintroduce the Design and Place SEPP
- Fully implement the recommendations from the 2022 O'Kane Fuller Flood Inquiry
Make Them Pay: A Plan for Community-Led Recovery
The fossil fuel industry has caused a climate crisis which is leading to catastrophic weather events such as floods, bushfires, storms and droughts. Deloitte has calculated that natural disasters cost the Australian economy $38 billion per year, rising to $73 billion by 2060.
The fossil fuel industry has known for decades that burning coal, oil and gas is driving the climate crisis, yet has actively opposed the transition to renewables. Instead they are making record profits, with coal exports for Australia forecast to reach $120 billion in earnings in 2022–23. NSW is the 4th largest exporter of coal in the world, yet the state is only forecast to receive $2.2 billion in royalties in 2022-23.
It’s time for coal and gas corporations to take responsibility for the climate crisis and pay for the damage they have caused. It shouldn’t be left to the community who are already feeling the burden of more frequent and extreme weather events.
The Greens have a plan to transform our towns and cities to better withstand future climate disasters, led by the community and paid for by the coal and gas industry.
The Greens will:
- Introduce a Climate Disaster Levy on coal exports to raise over $7 billion per year towards a Climate Recovery and Transformation Fund
- Establish a Climate Recovery and Transformation Authority to assist communities at risk of climate disasters
- Empower communities to prepare for climate change through Citizens Climate Assemblies
Community Led Climate Recovery, paid for by the Coal Industry
The fossil fuel industry has caused a climate crisis which is driving catastrophic weather events. The floods that have devastated NSW this year follow a string of increasingly damaging climate disasters with bushfires, floods, storms and droughts becoming more frequent and more destructive.
The fossil fuel industry has known for decades that burning coal and gas is the leading cause of climate change but has actively opposed all moves by governments to transition to renewables. It’s time that those industries which have knowingly contributed to the climate crisis be made to pay for them, not the community who are already bearing the brunt of more frequent and extreme weather events.
Not only should they pay, but communities should be empowered to decide how those funds will be used to prepare them for an uncertain future. That’s why the Greens have a plan to transform our towns and cities so that they can better withstand future climate disasters, led by the community and paid for by the coal industry that has caused the climate crisis.