Moving towards a low carbon economy and cleaner, cheaper energy
By Josh Burns
Federal MP for Macnamara
When someone writes to me, sincerely and thoughtfully, it is so, so powerful. I hear from many wonderful people in Macnamara, but one handwritten letter really made an impact.
Eighteen-year-old Esther pulled out a pen and a piece of paper and used her words. She expressed excitement about a future with renewables and a dedication to protecting our beautiful natural environment from the already felt impacts of climate change.
She told me, “Labor is the party for working class Australians and communities, all of whom will be hit the hardest by climate disasters.” I agree.
Esther’s ask was clear; “will you utilise your position, to ensure that the people of Macnamara and more broadly, the people of Australia will get to see real and tangible climate action and the justice they deserve?”
My answer is of course, yes. But we cannot just talk, we must act.
Young Australians like Esther could be mistaken for thinking the past nine years has been business as usual for the government in Australia. But when you change the government, you change the country.
I am excited to be part of a government that has at the heart of its mission restoring the public’s confidence, and particularly young people’s confidence, in the ability of the government to act on climate.
Southbank is vibrant, diverse, engaged, and full of advocates passionate about issues like equality, housing affordability and climate change. People are not just looking out for themselves but want to make a difference for others and for our future. Just like Esther.
The work has already begun. We are enshrining into law our emission reduction target of reducing emissions by at least 43 per cent by 2030 as we move towards net zero. Australia has submitted a new Nationally Determined Contribution to the UNFCCC - part of Australia’s obligations under the Paris Agreement.
We are transitioning to a low carbon economy, moving to cleaner, cheaper energy. Our plan will see the proportion of renewables in Australia’s National Energy Market increase to 82 per cent by 2030. This plan boosts renewable energy, creates jobs, and reduces emissions.
Locally, we will deliver a community battery in Southbank. This will allow those living in apartments who can’t install solar on their roofs to access cheap and reliable renewable energy. Local households who do have solar will have the option to feed into the shared battery during the day and draw from it at night, cutting electricity bills and emissions, and reducing pressure on the grid.
And we know that action on climate change is not just relevant to our own community. Immediately on coming to government, Anthony Albanese and Penny Wong set about restoring our relationship with our Pacific neighbours, who feel the real impact of climate change on their countries every day.
It’s time we reclaimed Australia’s role as an international leader on climate change, as we bid to co-host a future UN conference of the Parties with Pacific island countries.
So, while the work has begun, there is much more is ahead of us. As we go through the most dramatic change to our society since the industrial revolution, we must be guided by the future we want to create. For ourselves and for the young people like Esther. •
Federal MP for Macnamara