The state’s peak environment group has welcomed the NSW Government’s Climate Action Plan to help NSW adapt to the new pressures of climate change, but called for equal effort to be invested in cutting our greenhouse emissions.
“We congratulate the new Minister for Climate Change, Verity Firth, for wanting to work with communities on the challenges climate change will bring. But we must see equal effort being put into reining in NSW’s rapidly rising greenhouse gas emissions, as is currently being focussed on adapting to climate change.
“As well as protecting homes in areas likely to be hit by storms, we need to cut our carbon emissions to reduce the severity of climate change.
“The first thing the NSW Government must do if it is serious about tackling climate change is to rule out a new coal fired power station, and set ambitious targets to reduce our energy use.
“Planning for climate change needs a commitment from every arm of government including the Department of Planning, Treasury, and the Department Water and Energy. The task cannot just be left to NSW Climate Change Council.
“We need commitment from the Department of Planning to start factoring in the impacts of climate change, such as sea level rises, into their decision making processes. Too many developers have been allowed to build on flood prone land.
“The Department of Planning also has a big role to play in reducing domestic energy use, but has undermined efforts by weakening BASIX sustainability requirements for high rise apartments.
“Planning for climate change includes not just preparing ourselves for a changing climate, but also reducing our contribution to the causes of climate change,” Ms Faehrmann said.