Climate Change and Environment
There is no longer any credible or serious scientific doubt that human-induced climate change represents a massive risk to Australia and the world. The recent IPCC report indicates that we are experiencing a climate emergency, and as a result, meaningful action on climate change is urgent, at home and internationally. Labor will take strong action on climate change to mitigate the risks and impacts of climate change on Australian society and economy, and to take advantage of the opportunities transitioning to a low pollution economy represent for workers, businesses and Australia more broadly.
Labor will ensure Australia implements a comprehensive climate change and energy policy to reduce carbon pollution in line with the Paris Accord goal of limiting global warming to less than 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels and taking efforts to limit warming to 1.5 degrees above preindustrial levels. Labor will take full advantage of the economic and other opportunities this transition represents to create new industries, boost the efficiency and competitiveness of existing industries, modernise energy systems and make a just transition for all Australians.
Australia is particularly vulnerable to climate change. As a continent that largely encompasses both hot and dry, and tropical zones, Australia is exposed to more damaging climate change impacts than most other developed countries. In Australia, 2017 was one of the five warmest on record, while globally the four hottest years on record have all occurred in the last four years.
Climate change harms our water security, coastal development, infrastructure, agriculture and health. The environmental consequences translate directly into economic and social costs, with the most vulnerable paying the highest price. The longer we delay action, the greater burden we place on our children and future generations, and the harder and more expensive action will be.
Australia needs credible and effective national policy leadership to deliver a clean energy future, to mitigate dangerous climate change and to ensure Australia thrives in a low carbon global economy. This is Labor’s long-term plan to reshape and modernise our economy and cut carbon pollution.
The transition to a low pollution economy carries both opportunities and uncertainty for workers and communities. Labor will maximise the jobs growth from this transition and ensure jobs in the clean economy provide security, decent wages and conditions. Labor will not only address the challenges and risks, but will pursue the opportunities to modernise our economy and create jobs in a healthier, more equal, more prosperous and ultimately sustainable future.