Conservation groups have welcomed Queensland Labor’s new announcement of a climate action plan for the next decade and have urged the party to commit to limiting warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius for the sake of the Great Barrier Reef and all Queenslanders.
State Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch made the announcement at a debate today organised by the Australian Marine Conservation Society, Australian Conservation Foundation, Queensland Conservation Council, Australian Youth Climate Coalition, Our Living Outback, The Wilderness Society and WWF-Australia.
She said if elected, the Labor plan would include projects and community work that would help the state meet their long publicised target of reducing emissions by 30% by 2030, progressing to net zero emissions by 2050.
The Queensland Election Environment Debate also featured LNP shadow Environment Minister David Crisafulli and Greens MP for Maiwar Michael Berkman.
AMCS Great Barrier Reef campaign manager Dr Lissa Schindler said the announcement was positive news for the health of our Reef and the tourism industry that relies on it.
“Global warming is the biggest threat to our Reef and it is important all levels of government make serious plans that meet targets to help protect this precious natural wonder,” said Dr Schindler.
“We need all politicians and political parties in Australia to commit to the Paris target of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre industrial levels if we want to ensure a healthy and vibrant Reef for years to come. We urge all parties to make plans that meet these commitments.”
Dr Schindler said Queensland Labor’s climate plan went hand in hand with other encouraging pledges from the party, including $500m for publicly owned renewables and huge renewable energy corridors for the state.
Dave Copeman, Queensland Conservation Council Campaign Manager said: “Queenslanders have overwhelmingly responded to strong leadership and a clear plan to keep us safe from COVID. We need a strong, bold, Climate Action Plan that is based on science with the necessary measures to keep us safe.
“We need a Government that cares about Queenslanders endangered by the increased risk of bushfires, floods and cyclones, one that cares about the threatened species that face extinction due to global heating.”
Australian Conservation Foundation Climate Change and Clean Energy Campaigner Jason Lyddieth said: “In the absence of a credible plan from the Morrison government, the Queensland state government must step up to protect the Sunshine State from climate catastrophe.
“The next term of government will be crucial and climate change is a key issue in this election. Queensland must have a genuine plan to cut emissions and transition away from fossil fuels like coal and gas – and embrace clean energy from the sun and the wind.”
Lee Hall, Australian Youth Climate Coalition Queensland Campaign Organiser said: “As young Queenslanders, we want to see a commitment to 100% renewable energy by 2030 and a just transition out of fossil fuels to tackle the climate crisis.
“The 2030 target needs to be in Labor’s Climate Action Plan and it needs to be the goal for all political parties. The science is clear and now we need our politicians to take action.”
Here is the link to watch the recording of the Queensland Election Environment Debate.