Statement: South Australians for Climate Action
Ahead of the South Australian election, SA Unions has joined with South Australian businesses, organisations and individuals to seek a commitment from all political parties and candidates at the 2022 State election to implement powerful policies that protect our community, economy and environment from climate change impacts.
We want the government that South Australians choose to strengthen SA’s leadership in action on climate change.
South Australia has a track record of bipartisan leadership on climate and energy policy, and we are well-placed to both improve our climate future and build the new economy powered by clean energy. We have a lot to gain by responding positively and forcefully to the changing climate. Now is the time to innovate for climate resilience and carbon-neutrality, to adapt our energy, transport, industry and agriculture to net zero emissions, and to reap the benefits in export and growth opportunities. Our goal must be the rapid achievement of 100% green energy, climate smart agriculture and biodiversity protection.
We have a lot to lose if we miss this critical time for action. A ‘business as usual’ future is no longer possible and the sooner we ramp up our response, building on our strengths, the sooner South Australians can face the future with optimism. We need a strong and feasible action program that engages communities, businesses and institutions. We need the Government to lead with a far-sighted whole-of-government strategy that includes targeted incentives to support promising innovations and outcomes. We don’t have all the answers, but there are some clear priorities for government.
PRIORITIES FOR ACTION
1.Clean Energy for All Uses
SA leads the nation in the shift to renewable electricity and has an aspiration of 100% renewable electricity by 2030i. But electricity provides less than 30% of our energy use. We need a broader focus to include energy used in heating, transport, industry and agriculture, together with energy storage, to achieve the State’s goal of reducing greenhouse emissions by at least 50% by 2030ii.
- Support the adoption of world standards for vehicle emissions
- Accelerate the development of renewable refuelling facilities for cars, trucks and buses
- Set strong targets for increasing the share of public and active transport
- Convert government vehicle fleets to zero-emissions by 2030, and act to accelerate the universal uptake of zero emission vehicles in private and business fleets
2.Climate Smart Land Use
Many SA farmers, graziers and agriculturalists are adopting innovative practices to improve energy productivity, reduce emissions and produce renewable energy. Converting vehicles to renewable fuels and adopting low-emission farm machinery and equipment, reducing methane, changing land use and improving land management can make Australian agriculture emission neutral by 2040iii.
to help landowners and farmers earn carbon credits, with appropriate financial assistance
i The South Australian Government Climate Change Action Plan 2021–2025, p. 8. The State’s aspiration is to achieve 100% net renewable energy generation by 2030. https://cdn.environment.sa.gov.au/environment/docs/climate-change-action-plan-2021-2025.pdf
ii The South Australian Government Climate Change Action Plan 2021–2025, p. 1. The SA government has set goals to reduce SA’s greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50% below 2005 levels by 2030, and to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. https://cdn.environment.sa.gov.au/environment/docs/climate-change-action-plan-2021-2025.pdf
iii Ernst & Young Australia. 2021. How can Australia’s agriculture sector realise opportunity in a low emissions future? Farmers for Climate Action.
iv Meat & Livestock Australia 2020. The Australian Red Meat Industry’s Carbon Neutral by 2030 Roadmap.
v Samuels G 2020. Independent Review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. Available at: https://epbcactreview.environment.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-01/EPBC%20Act%20Review%20Final%20Report%20October%202020.pdf