Climate Inaction Plan
Community group Climate Action Hobart today lambasted the Tasmanian Government’s ‘Climate
Action Plan’ that was released last week as a ‘disgrace and a recipe for inaction’.
“Three years on from setting up a ‘Climate Action Council’, the Government has released a plan
with no new actions, no new targets, no new funding, no new policies, no community consultation
on the details and no new vision for the State”, said Climate Action spokesperson, Phil Harrington.
The Plan reworks past announcements and funding and talks about establishing roundtables and
‘strategic partnerships’, but with no cash or policies on the table that might leverage real action.
The Plan fails to estimate by how much it will reduce Tasmania’s emissions which, on the data in
the Plan, have been rising since 2002.
“With hundreds of millions of dollars on offer through various Federal Government climate
change programs, and more hundreds of millions set to come every year from next year as a
windfall gain into the State Government’s coffers with the introduction of carbon pricing, the
funding commitment in this package for “the most profound policy challenge of our time” is just
$7.4 million over 4 years, less than 0.1% of the State’s budget. None of this funding is new.”
The Plan talks about the importance of improving the energy efficiency of buildings, but Tasmania
was the last State in Australia to commit to 5 star housing and has still not committed to move to
6-star despite a COAG agreement that this would occur by 1 May 2011. In the meantime,
Tasmania is undermining national initiatives to reduce emissions, by unilaterally exempting itself
from the national phase-out of inefficient electric storage hot water systems. “Decisions like these
would cost the government not one cent”, said Mr Harrington, “so it is not good enough for the
government to cry poor. Because of our cold climate, these changes would benefit Tasmanians
more than people in other States”.
While other jurisdictions like the ACT have already set a 2020 target that will see their emissions
fall by 40% over 1990 levels by 2020, Tasmania’s Plan is still asking ‘should we set a 2020
target?’. Yet the Government’s own ‘Climate Action Council’ – set up specifically to advise the
Premier on climate policy issues – has already recommended that it should.
“The Government needs to be clear – does it accept the advice of its own Council or does it not?
If it does, why has the recommended target not been announced?”, asked Mr Harrington.
“The community will be bitterly disappointed by the lack of leadership here, while the lack of any
tangible incentives for investment will be noted by the business sector.”
Media Contacts: Phil Harrington (CAH) 0419 106 449