Climate Change

The Greens believe:

  1. The impacts of the human-induced climate crisis pose an existential threat to ecosystems, biodiversity and human societies.

  2. Australia's exports and domestic pollution make it one of the largest contributors per capita to the climate crisis. A nationwide, systematic response is required to drastically reduce emissions from all  sectors, to draw down greenhouse gases, and be greenhouse gas neutral or negative by 2035.

  3. South Australia must urgently reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions to net negative. We must actively support international efforts to remove global emissions from the environment and plan to  adapt to, and attempt to mitigate, the impacts of the climate crisis which are now inevitable.

  4. Equity must be at the core of all climate change negotiations and measures while transitioning to an  economy and society that supports a safer climate.

  5. South Australia’s climate policy must be consistent with our commitment under the Paris Agreement to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

  6. It is the duty of every government, and organisation to take substantive action to solve the climate crisis.

  7. The South Australian Government has an important and essential role to play in decarbonising high  greenhouse gas emitting industries and activities and creating net zero emissions across all sectors.

  8. South Australia has extensive renewable energy resources that should be used to benefit all; we have  both the opportunity and the responsibility to become a world leader in addressing the climate crisis.

  9. Clean energy technologies offer huge opportunities for job creation.

  10. Burning fossil fuels for energy is incompatible with a safe, stable climate and healthy environment.

  11. Subsidies to the fossil fuel sector should be removed, and investment in relevant climate change  mitigation sectors should be increased.

  12. Energy prices should reflect the environmental, social, health and other external costs of its  production and use.

  13. Australia’s agriculture and pastoral industry must be supported to transition to sustainable, regenerative and carbon neutral practices including finding creative ways to adapt to a changing  climate.

  14. In moving to a net negative greenhouse gas economy, it is essential to minimise the adverse impacts of that transition on affected workers and communities.

  15. Climate action must include and respond to the specific experiences, knowledge, priorities and needs  of First Nations Peoples.

  16. Addressing climate change requires significant investment in education and community engagement.

  17. Action to mitigate the effects of climate change must include revegetation and protection of existing  native vegetation.

  18. Failing to transition to a net negative greenhouse gas future will have adverse impacts on people and  society through:

               - mass death and suffering;
               - increasing and intensified extreme weather events and related environmental disasters;
               - increased risks to water resources, agriculture and food security;
               - the increased cost of adaptation; and
               - lost or diminished economic opportunities by delaying the transition to renewables.        

The Greens will:

  1. Adopt measures to achieve the target of net zero or net negative greenhouse gas emissions in South Australia by 2035 or sooner, including phasing out fossil fuels.

  2. Communicate with other national, local and international governments to develop and implement complementary policies on climate change, incorporating relevant scientific research.

  3. Implement public education programs about the climate crisis.

  4. Support the establishment and implementation of a climate impact assessment test to be applied to all significant government spending or policy decisions.

  5. Legislate to ban all new climate-damaging projects in cases where climate-safe alternatives are available and establish a climate impact assessment body to consider the approval of future projects.

  6. Ban exploration and drilling in the Great Australian Bight and other South Australian coastal waters.

  7. Ban all new coal, unconventional gas and underground coal gasification exploration and extraction projects in South Australia.

  8. Remove all subsidies to the fossil fuel industry.

  9. Support additional renewable generation capacity, infrastructure and storage in SA for both domestic consumption and export interstate.

  10. Support research, development and deployment of processes that will allow South Australian  industry to convert renewable energy into an exportable resource.

  11. Support research, development and deployment of sustainable fuels which demonstrably reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and do not threaten biodiversity or food security.

  12. Support the creation of a renewable energy export industry, including renewables-generated fuels such as Green Hydrogen, direct connections to neighbouring countries, and the export of technology.

  13. Support research, development and deployment of greenhouse gas neutral technologies for manufacturing and industry, particularly replacing the direct use of fossil fuels in industrial processes.

  14. Support research, development and implementation of sustainable agricultural practices, including low-emissions stock farming practice, and regenerative grazing, that considers the carbon storage capacity of soil and assists the recovery of carbon-fixing ground cover vegetation, while transitioning  from industrial farming practices that are greenhouse gas intensive or rely on fossil fuels.

  15. Promote sustainable forestry, agriculture, aquaculture, and planning practices that harness plants’ natural carbon fixing capability (photosynthetic sequestration).

  16. Strengthen protections and fund the restoration of native vegetation, marine kelp forests, sea grass and mangroves to preserve South Australia’s capacity for natural carbon sequestration.

  17. Provide retraining and transition assistance to communities and workers affected by job transitions towards sustainable industries.

  18. Assist industries and businesses to replace equipment with low-emission alternatives.

  19. Remove barriers to entry for domestic and small businesses to feed renewable energy into the grid or participate in peer-to-peer trading of electricity.

  20. Support greater uptake of domestic and commercial roof-top solar and battery storage through state renewable energy and storage targets and regulated feed-in tariffs.

  21. Encourage the installation of clean energy generation infrastructure by agricultural producers, business owners, community groups and householders to feed electricity into the grid.

  22. Establish a publicly owned, not-for-profit green energy retailer to guarantee the lowest energy prices  for low-income households.

  23. Establish an Indigenous Communities Clean Power Program to ensure that all First Nations communities in South Australia have access to clean, affordable, local renewable electricity.

  24. Reduce energy demand by introducing new and effective Mandatory Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for all residential and commercial buildings.

  25. Offer rebates for retrofitting existing houses and buildings, including rental properties, with energy saving devices and measures.

  26. Promote energy-efficient living choices through public awareness campaigns.

  27. Support mandatory energy labelling for all electrical appliances that includes both the operating and standby power consumption.

  28. Ensure that all households (including renters, apartment dwellers and other households with limited capacity to install solar panels) can access the benefits of renewable energy through their landlords, strata corporations, or through innovative projects such as off-site community renewable energy schemes.

  29. Install solar panels and battery storage on all suitable, tenanted public housing properties.

  30. Support development and expansion of robust distribution networks for sustainable alternative fuels and charging facilities for electric vehicles.

  31. Support the development of an electric vehicle manufacturing industry in South Australia.

  32. Support the use of incentives for the adoption of electric and low emission vehicles.

  33. Use the Government's vehicle fleet procurement policies to contribute to the elimination of  greenhouse gas emissions, including through the use of electric and low emission vehicles.

  34. Support the electrification of South Australia’s public transport system.

  35. Improve planning and adaptation mechanisms for coastal communities that will be affected by rising sea levels, whilst recognising that retreating from the coast will be appropriate in some cases.

  36. Improve climate adaptation planning for agricultural areas that will be impacted by climate  variability, desertification, drought, extreme weather events and fires.

  37. Support research and development of health-related indicators for climate change, such as health issues arising from air pollution, extreme heat and climate-sensitive disease.

(Climate Change Policy as amended by The Greens SA Policy and Campaigns Council February 2021)