NSW’s leading conservation groups (1) have condemned the lack of leadership on climate change
demonstrated by the NSW government’s first budget and 10‐year State Plan.
The Government has missed the opportunity provided by the Budget and State Plan to finance and
implement a comprehensive strategy for reducing the state’s carbon pollution and driving investment in
the clean energy industry.
“Premier Barry O’Farrell and Treasurer Mike Baird have been vocal critics of the Federal government’s
carbon price, yet they have failed to present an alternative plan to reduce NSW’s carbon emissions and
move towards a clean energy economy for NSW,” Nature Conservation Council of NSW CEO Pepe Clarke said today.
“A vision for a prosperous, healthy NSW must deliver real action to reduce carbon pollution and help
local communities and the natural environment adapt to climate change in coming years.
“However, in today’s budget we've seen continued funding for untested, so‐called ‘clean’ coal
technology, while proven water and energy savings programs through the Climate Change Fund have
been slashed by more than a third in this year’s budget (35%).
“The Climate Change Fund’s proven energy efficiency programs have delivered average power saving at
an impressive $28 per megawatt hour. In stark contrast, the electricity rebates proposed by the
government in this budget will be up to five times more expensive.
“A target of 20% renewable energy by 2020 in isolation is not an effective climate change policy from
the NSW government, we need a comprehensive plan for rapidly reducing our state’s carbon pollution,”
The Wilderness Society NSW Campaign Manager Belinda Fairbrother said today.
“Instead, we’re heading backwards. The previous State Plan target of reducing greenhouse emissions by
60% by 2050 has been dropped from the new 10‐year plan.
“The State Plan also claims it will help local communities build resilience to future effects of climate
change, such as extreme weather events and hazards, but all we’re promised is another round of studies
and projections rather than meaningful action.
“Climate action is core government business, not something our State government can ‘outsource’ to
other levels of government. Government research shows more than three‐quarters of people in NSW
believe climate change is happening and more than two‐thirds (69%) want the NSW Government to take
urgent action on this issue (2)," she said.
1. Nature Conservation Council of NSW, The Wilderness Society NSW, National Parks Association of NSW, Total Environment Centre, Blue Mountains Conservation Society, Colong Foundation for Wilderness, North Coast Environment Council, South East Region Conservation Alliance and Central West Environment Council.
2. Who cares about the environment in 2009? Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water.