Western Australia is the only state in Australia with rising levels of greenhouse gas emissions.
The Commonwealth Government recently introduced a target of net zero emissions by 2050, but WA can and must do better.
We need ambitious targets; accountability to measure our progress; and certainty for businesses to invest in cleaner alternatives.
Strong words and action
By signing the 2016 Paris Agreement, Australia committed to limit the global average temperate rise to below 1.5 °C of pre-industrial levels.
Achieving that target requires strong action, and for that reason the WA Parliament should declare a state of 'Climate Emergency'.
Beyond that, the Parliament should:
- Legislate a target of 100% renewables by 2035;
- Bring forward our target of net zero emissions from 2050 to 2040; and
- Establish a Climate Action Council to provide independent advice to the Government.
Jobs and royalties
Our natural resources are owned by us, the people, and we have a right to an equitable share of the profits of those resources.
Those benefits should extend beyond merely building road and rail links to whisk away those resources to foreign countries.
That's why we need to:
- Increase the royalty rate paid by mining companies during record-high commodity prices;
- Capture and divert those profits into a Norwegian-style Sovereign Wealth Fund; and
- Create jobs through investments in social housing, environmental restoration and carbon sequestration.
Transitioning to a clean energy future doesn't have to be disruptive. In fact, the Government can and should embrace change.
That includes by making electric vehicle charging stations readily available, and by helping fossil fuel-reliant communities to transition to new jobs.
Beyond that, the Government should:
- Ban fracking; stop new gas projects; and, phase out coal and gas by 2035;
- Support community-led restoration projects such as the Gondwana Link; and
- Invest in large-scale battery storage, and facilitate peer-to-peer trading of energy.
Natural resources are owned by the Australian people, and the people have a right to a fair share of the exploitation of those resources. That benefit should extend well beyond the creation of ports and roads required to get those resources to the global market - Wilson Tucker MLC