The Greens have (unsurprisingly) proposed a more ambitious take on change, wanting to cut emissions by 75 per cent by 2030 and hit net zero by 2035.
Greens leader Adam Bandt wants to phase out coal and gas completely and switch to 100 per cent renewables as soon as possible.
Under the Greens, they would:
- Develop more batteries
- Upgrade the electricity grid
- Reduce the cost of electric vehicles
The party says it would fund this by taxing big corporations.
Under this tax, a company with a turnover of more than $100 million would face a super-profits tax of 40 per cent.
The Greens also proposed a $40 billion remake of Australia’s electricity sector, which would quickly see all coal and gas power plants phased out by 2030.
What about jobs?
Should the Greens plan come to fruition, communities dominated by fossil fuels are going to see jobs disappear.
To account for this, the Greens plan includes:
- Working with communities to find industries that will provide meaningful, long term work as the economy changes
- Creating long-term jobs, reskilling workers into similar industries, and providing grants to help new employers get off the ground.
The Greens are also aware of the future challenges climate change holds, and say our cities and emergency services are unprepared for the worst.
Critical infrastructure needs to be built, to plan for this the Greens:
- Will legislate to make fossil fuels “clean up their mess,” and reinvest those funds into infrastructure.
- Increase vital funding for emergency services
- Increase funding for the BoM and CSIRO to predict impacts and better plan for the future.
The Greens plan to use green energy to rebuild the manufacturing industry and bring back jobs that have gone overseas.
They also plan to establish the Manufacturing Australia Fund to help local manufacturers recover from the pandemic, move off coal and gas and expand into new sectors.
More of the Green’s policies include:
- Electric vehicles on every street
- Helping homes and businesses transition off gas
- Increase public transport and high speed rails
- Restoring land and carbon drawdown through ending native forest logging
Wishful thinking or attainable activism?
The Greens are determined to bring Australia to net zero faster than any Australian political party by measures that seem extreme. Their reasons are not unjustified, though.
As outlined on their website, the consequence of inaction is a future of hardship. It’s predicted that if we don’t reach our 2050 emissions reductions targets, we can expect regular occurrences of 50 degree days in Sydney and Melbourne and more frequent catastrophic weather events.
Australia is already far behind the climate action ladder, and further inaction could isolate the country politically.
Learn more about The Greens policies via greens.org.au.
Feature image: AAP Image/Gary Ramage