The Greens NSW believe that:
1. Energy is an essential public service. Governments have a responsibility to ensure that all people and businesses have access to adequate, affordable energy that does not add to global warming.
2. Obtaining energy by burning either fossil fuels or wood from mature forests is incompatible with a safe climate and healthy pollution-free environment, and must be rapidly phased out.
3. Governments have a duty to implement policies and actions to rapidly transform the energy system from polluting fuels to efficient use of clean renewable energy.
4. Governments must ensure the transition to clean renewable energy is managed and just. This includes implementing strategies, policies and targets to meet international agreements with emissions targets compatible with a safe climate, and working with businesses, communities and educational institutions to support economic diversification for workers who traditionally derived income from fossil fuel related industries.
5. Governments should support energy efficiency measures that reduce overall energy use (e.g. improved insulation, heat pumps to replace other forms of heating) and offer major economic, social and environmental benefits, because they reduce energy costs and the need for new generating capacity, reduce global warming, and improve air quality.
6. Wherever possible, external impacts, including environmental impacts, of producing and using energy, should be factored into the price of energy.
7. Nuclear energy presents too many significant environmental and social risks and costs to be pursued as an electricity option. Uranium exploration and mining should be prohibited in NSW.
8. Governments and big business have a responsibility to introduce energy efficiency measures that reduce both per-capita and overall energy consumption, to conserve resources and lower global warming.
9. Public ownership of key energy assets provides the most effective mechanism to ensure that clean energy is delivered as an essential service. Local and community ownership of, and involvement in, energy infrastructure and assets, including batteries and solar and wind farms should also be promoted.
10. In recognition of First Nations People's sovereignty, and as agreed by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, all projects related to mining, drilling, fracking or extracting energy on their land must involve early and continuing consultation and agreement with affected First Nations People.
11. Re-nationalisation (bringing back into public ownership) of existing entities, or the creation of new state entities to own and operate electricity infrastructure and retailing is critical to building a socially just society and providing the means for a rapid response to the climate emergency we are facing.
12. As part of the developed world responsible for making the major contribution to global warming, Australia has a responsibility to end the burning of fossil fuels and forest biomass as quickly as possible AND aid developing countries to do likewise in the shortest possible time.
13. The current energy market is deeply flawed and should be replaced by a system that ensures energy is produced efficiently, and sold at fair prices.
The Greens NSW support:
14. A rapid build of renewable energy and storage technologies, and necessary transmission infrastructure, with legislated, binding targets increasing over time to 100% of all electricity generated in NSW by 2030.
15. Funding and investment in research, development and growth for renewable energy technologies such as wind, photovoltaics, solar thermal, green hydrogen (including as a replacement for metallurgical coal), small-scale hydro, pumped hydro, sustainable biofuels, wave and geothermal energy, peer-to-peer electricity trading, community batteries, virtual grids and other storage technologies.
16. Targets for energy storage or other clean, dispatchable technology that will ensure reliability of supply.
17. Requiring all NSW government agencies to purchase 100% renewable energy, and where practical directly install renewable energy capacity on their buildings.
18. Legislation to prevent non-Greenpower accredited electricity products from being sold or advertised as green or environmentally friendly.
19. Funding for renewable and sustainable energy programs, including grants (and legislation, if needed) to enable greater access to affordable energy, especially for households facing barriers to installing rooftop solar PV and batteries, such as those in rental housing, low-income earners, or those living in apartments.
20. Regular reviews of plans and targets to achieve net zero or negative global warming emissions by 2035.
21. A fair minimum purchase price for energy generated by solar PV that takes into account the wholesale price of electricity and the avoided environmental, social, health and network costs.
22. Developing community and local-government owned and operated renewable energy projects, as well as large renewable energy and storage projects, preferably under public ownership and control.
23. Requiring new buildings, large car parks and covered footpaths, as well as existing government buildings/infrastructure to be fitted with solar photovoltaic or other renewable energy generation where possible.
24. Reform to the planning and regulation of renewable energy zones and renewable energy projects, avoiding unnecessary barriers, but ensuring genuine community consultation and high-quality transmission infrastructure that creates minimal additional environmental damage, and that Traditional Custodians, adjoining neighbours and communities have opportunities to benefit from the projects.
25. Opposing the classification of burning native forest biomass as ‘clean’ or ‘renewable’ energy or as ‘Greenpower’, as native forest logging is unsustainable and environmentally damaging.
26. Opposing the classification of the incineration of municipal, industrial or commercial waste as ‘clean’ or ‘renewable’ energy as much of the waste, like plastic, is derived from fossil fuels, releases significant air pollutants, and diverts waste to incineration that could be recycled, reused or composted.
27. Achieving sufficient renewable electricity generation, storage and transmission capacity to power all likely future needs, e.g. cooling, heating, electric vehicles, green hydrogen.
28. Development of reuse, repair, and recycle methods for technologies used to generate renewable energy, such as solar panels, batteries, and wind turbines, and legislate for product stewardship of those assets when they reach their end of life.
29. Rejecting carbon capture and storage as a solution to ongoing use of fossil fuels given the failure of trial projects, the risk of long-term leakage, the high cost and the fact that limited economic resources can be used far more effectively in reducing emissions and providing cost-effective energy supply if diverted to renewable energy development and energy efficiency.
30. Opposing the expansion of coal and gas mining in NSW and the expansion of coal or gas export infrastructure, and work towards the closure of existing facilities.
31. Phasing out existing thermal coal mines and thermal coal exports by 2035, while ensuring that existing mine workers have access to retraining and secure, high quality replacement jobs.
32. Working to phase out existing coal-fired and gas-fired power stations, starting with the most carbon-polluting, and phase out the burning of all gas and oil-based fuels.
33. Guaranteeing employment, equivalent conditions, and access to retraining for all affected workers as well as financial assistance and targeted industry development for communities and regions affected by the phasing out of fossil fuels.
34. The provision of assistance to households, businesses and industrial users to transition away from gas and oil to efficient use of electricity (e.g heat pumps, induction cooking) and improve energy efficiency, in recognition of domestic price rises. Ensure that the assistance protects low-income households from energy poverty but is not delivered as a subsidy on gas prices.
35. Requiring regular testing of existing gas infrastructure for fugitive emissions and immediate leakage repair.
36. Removing all subsidies for fossil fuels and imposing windfall taxes on excessive profits of energy companies.
37. Oppose any further privatisation or deregulation of the state’s electricity infrastructure, including the networks.
38. Support the return of the state energy distribution network to public ownership to operate as a non-profit, essential public service.
39. Review and improve the regulation of the energy sector, including stronger pollution control measures, and consider a "social cost of carbon" model.
40. Support investment in electricity transmission infrastructure, preferably publicly-owned, that is directed towards increasing the supply and availability of renewable energy.
41. Until key energy assets can be returned to public ownership, reform of the currently unworkable energy market to:
41.1. Ensure that the rules are fair, prevent rorting, gaming the market, and excessive prices (e.g. by withholding supply to artificially inflate prices) and favour capacity mechanisms based on stored renewable energy.
41.2. Facilitate decentralised energy generation, peer-to-peer trading and strata-owned renewable energy projects, such as solar gardens.
42. While recognising that pricing is only one mechanism for reducing emissions, work to remove all market barriers to the rapid transition to 100% renewable energy by:
42.1. Providing financial assistance, investment subsidies, support and expertise, especially to low-income households to enable them to become more energy efficient and to avoid energy poverty.
42.2. Integrating full environmental, economic and social costs in energy pricing.
42.3. Removing direct and indirect subsidies for fossil fuels and pricing signals that encourage inefficiency.
42.4. Implementing effective models of integrated least-cost planning that maximise both demand-side and transmission efficiencies (including local battery storage) and contribute to less global warming.
42.5. Supporting the transition to low emission hot water systems powered by or boosted by renewable energy, including regulations for new installations
42.6. Introducing tax deductions and allowing accelerated depreciation for investment in renewable-energy and energy-efficiency technologies.
43. In recognition that the adoption of a national carbon-pricing mechanism is a step towards incorporating the environmental costs of energy generation into the price signals, work to ensure that any carbon pricing mechanism is accompanied by measures to ensure that:
43.1. Low and middle-income households receive adequate protection from increased prices in the form of assistance in reducing demand and monetary compensation.
43.2. Industries such as aluminium smelting that depend on the consumption of large amounts of energy or fossil fuels are not compensated for the costs of carbon pricing or emissions trading.
43.3. Targets are set in accordance with the latest understanding of climate science to minimise the chances of dangerous increases in global average temperature and include short lived climate pollutants such as methane, black carbon and carbon monoxide in addition to carbon dioxide.
44. Ban exploitative contracts and billing practices, including excessive pay-on-time discounts, excessive daily charges and grid connection fees and work with the Federal Government to improve the EnergyMadeEasy website so that the meter reading option provides all relevant energy consumption data on solar exports, controlled load and peak, off-peak and shoulder electricity use.
45. Prohibiting gas connections and solid fuel heaters for new grid connected residential dwellings and developing incentives for households to move to electricity.
46. Banning new residential apartment buildings from having embedded networks unless they are part of a renewable energy micro-grid or a renewable Power Purchase Agreement.
47. Imposing a legal maximum percentage cap on mark-ups that an embedded network entity can charge residents above the rate the entity pays the provider, applicable to all new and existing embedded networks. Only embedded networks using 100% may charge residents any mark-up.
48. Opposing the expansion of gas distribution infrastructure except for non-greenhouse gases such as green hydrogen.
Energy in Transport
49. The development and supply of affordable vehicles and transport systems that are not reliant on fossil fuels
50. A substantial investment in public transport, cycling and pedestrian facilities, rail and maritime transport of goods, and the development of alternatives to travel and transport.
51. The roll-out of electric vehicle charging stations, preferably using renewable energy, and encourage electrification of the vehicle and plant fleet by all levels of government
52. Requiring electric vehicle fas- charging facilities in commercial developments with parking spaces, and new residential developments, and supporting the installation of low-power (overnight) charging points on power poles in streets where many residents do not have off-street parking.
53. Improved fuel efficiency and air pollution standards for internal combustion vehicles.
54. Research, development and use of renewable energy (including of liquid and gaseous fuels, solar panels and or battery technology) for all transport, recognising that the expanding air transport sector is responsible for significant emissions.
Energy Efficiency and Conservation
55. Implementing programs and policies to achieve high levels of energy efficiency and effective demand management and require all NSW government agencies to take the lead on energy efficiency.
56. Developing financial support mechanisms to enable households, especially low-income households, to fund energy efficiency upgrades and best-in-category appliances to improve household energy efficiency and support increased efficiency targets in the NSW Energy Savings Scheme.
57. Implementing mandatory minimum energy efficiency standards for rental dwellings, including public and community housing.
58. Mandating energy audits before the sale or rental of all buildings intended for human occupation and require the results of these audits to be included prominently in sale and rental contracts.
59. Using legislation and grants to improve the energy efficiency of buildings and consumer goods sold or manufactured in Australia.
60. Continuing to support and enhance BASIX and the Design and Place SEPP, aiming for a minimum 80% reduction in energy use compared to baseline and climate-friendly urban planning, remove all restrictions on local councils setting their own energy efficiency standards, and requiring all new and substantially renovated buildings to have net zero emissions by 2035.
61. Implementing a greenhouse trigger that requires all developments with energy-related emissions above 10,000 tonnes CO2e per annum to implement all available energy efficiency measures with a payback time of four years or less.
62. Providing government-accredited technical assistance to identify and implement energy-efficiency projects for any company, organisation or individual. This assistance will be free of charge if all projects with a payback of four years or less are adopted.
63. Encouraging the widespread uptake of ‘smart’ metering to measure electricity use, by time of day and new tariffs to encourage energy conservation and strategic demand reductions with mechanisms to protect low-income households from avoidable increases in energy bills.
64. Using smart technology, including community batteries, metering and demand management to optimise electricity transmission efficiency.
65. Seeking agreement at National Cabinet meetings to expand and increase national Minimum Efficiency Performance Standards (MEPS) for all energy-using products, banning the most inefficient products from sale in Australia and moving towards world’s best practice in standards of product energy efficiency.
66. Removing all subsidies to energy-intensive industries, and supporting research and development of low-carbon alternatives and improved energy efficiency.
67. Developing industry transition plans for all energy-intensive industries that cannot substantially reduce their reliance on fossil fuels, including financial support for the development of new sustainable industries in affected areas, employment guarantees, and training and transition assistance for the workforce.
68. Mandating the transition of all public streetlights to high energy efficiency LEDs or equivalent by 2025.
69. Restrict the sources of biofuels to genuine waste or dedicated environmentally-sustainable production systems.
70. Ban the importation or domestic production of biofuel sources such as palm oil when they compromise recovery of endangered species, biodiversity and sustainable land use management.
71. Ensure that the crops grown for biofuels, and their production and processing into biofuels, are based on ecologically sustainable practices such as zero land and soil degradation, optimal conservation of water and protection of the river systems, and with as minimal air, land and water pollution.
72. Support quantification and monitoring of greenhouse gas and air pollution emissions from biofuel production by requiring the implementation and publication of an accredited life-cycle analysis and estimated health costs of emissions.
Revised August 2022