Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Climate change becoming a hot issue for New South Wales election

‘Everyone loves solar’: Climate action heats up as NSW election issue, Brisbane Times By Peter Hannam February 23, 2019 NSW voters, including conservative ones, want the state government to step up action on climate change, including boosting renewable energy, two separate polling sets show.

A statewide Essential survey conducted February 6-11 for the Nature Conservation Council of 544 respondents found 51 per cent were more likely to back a party boosting clean energy and 18 per cent less likely. Among those identifying as Liberal or National supporters, the ratio was 43 per cent in favour and a quarter against.

Three separate uComms surveys for Greenpeace, each of more than 600 respondents conducted in marginal seats of Ballina, Coogee, and Penrith, found higher support for renewable energy.

In Penrith, for instance, 60 per cent of Liberal voters said they were more likely to support a party investing in renewables and 30.7 per cent less likely. In Coogee, 52.1 per cent of Liberal voters were more likely to back a party with such policies, and 38.6 per cent against.

In Ballina, 65 per cent of National supporters agreed rooftop solar and batteries would cut household power bills for homeowners and renters, while 32.8 per cent disagreed.

The polling comes amid another torrid period of extremes. NSW smashed heat records in January, with temperatures almost six degrees about average and two degrees above the previous record set in bushfire-scorched January 1939.

Much of the state remains in severe drought – with 2019 off to a dry start amid rainfall levels typically less than a fifth of normal levels – sending reservoir levels tumbling and contributing to a series of mass fish kills and algal bloom outbreaks in the Darling and other rivers.

While climate scientists have yet to determine the role climate change is having, the background warming of more than a degree over the past century across Australia is raising the likelihood of heatwaves. Climate models also point to a long-term drying trend across southern Australia, including NSW, with more to come.

No policy’

The onus to demonstrate action to tackle climate change appears to fall heavier on the Coalition if the polling and last December’s federal byelection for the Sydney seat of Wentworth are any guide, Kate Smolski, chief executive of the Nature Conservation Council, said.

“Voters deserted the Liberals in Wentworth over climate change, and [this month’s] poll shows that it’s a statewide phenomenon,” Ms Smolski said.

“This is bad news for the Berejiklian government, which after eight years of Coalition rule still doesn’t have a climate change policy or a renewable energy target.”……..

the Greens plan to introduce a carbon change bill, including a broad carbon price, to reach the net-zero emissions goal by 2040.

“We need targets with teeth if we are going to actually decarbonise,” Cate Faehrmann, Greens environment spokeswoman, said. “That is why I have developed legislation which sets binding targets to reach net-zero emissions by 2040 and gives ordinary citizens the power to prosecute government ministers who are not serious about meeting these targets.”

Jeremy Buckingham, the former Greens and now independent MP, said policies are needed to tackle emissions from agriculture, industry and transport.

“Everyone loves solar panels, so we get policies focused on popular renewable energy, but with only a few years left to act, we need comprehensive policies to decarbonise all sectors rapidly, even if they are politically challenging,” he said. https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/environment/climate-change/everyone-loves-solar-climate-action-heats-up-as-nsw-election-issue-20190222-p50zl7.html

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February 25, 2019 - Posted by | climate change - global warming, New South Wales, politics

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