House debates

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Constituency Statements

Climate Change

4:13 pm

Photo of Josh WilsonJosh Wilson (Fremantle, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

The people I represent want to see action on climate change. They know that rising carbon emissions have affected our climate and that our planet has already warmed significantly as a result of human activity. They know it's vital that we keep global temperatures well below two degrees, so they expect government to take appropriate action. People in my electorate don't buy the nonsense in the government's claim that more coal equals cheaper and more reliable power, they've no truck with those who make the ridiculous claim that more renewable energy means higher costs, and they're sick to death of the dangerous lie that climate change isn't real and that Australia should take no part in confronting its causes and its effects. In fact, they understand very well both the science and the economics. They understand that sound energy policy and action to address climate change go hand in hand.

The recent IPCC report—which, sadly, this government and its minister pretended was of no particular consequence or authority—made our circumstances and the challenge before us perfectly clear:

Climate change represents an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to human societies and the planet.

We must respond to this threat, but we're not doing that at the moment. Carbon emissions have risen under this government; they are rising every year. Investment in renewable energy has fallen off a cliff, and we have suffered through five years of inaction. There is no area of policy failure that has been more bleak and more hopeless in the course of the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison government than the failure to put in place as a matter of urgency a responsible and effective forward-looking climate change and energy framework.

I'm fortunate to be the representative of an engaged and indeed often activist community. In the last few months alone, in addition to the hundreds of emails and telephone calls I've received on this issue, I've met with local representatives from the Australian Conservation Foundation, young people from the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, the Conservation Council of Western Australia and various business whose are pushing ahead with new technologies in renewable energy, energy efficiency, batteries, electric vehicles and zero-emission hydrogen projects. All those things must be part of our future. That's why Labor is committed to achieving 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030, to supporting the serious expansion of household battery capacity and to providing $10 billion in additional funding for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

In Fremantle we recognise the need to dramatically reduce carbon emissions and dramatically increase renewable energy, but I don't think the community I represent is significantly different from communities right around this country, a continent that is at risk of suffering disproportionate environmental, social and economic harm from a drying and warming climate and a spike in extreme weather events, storms, droughts and bushfires. Like the good people of Fremantle, Australians want action on climate change. I'm determined to work with my colleagues within this parliament to deliver that action.