The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) welcomes Queensland’s new Energy and Jobs Plan, which is a significant step forward in tackling the climate crisis.
The Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk announced today that Queensland would increase its renewable energy target to 70% by 2032 and decarbonise the Queensland energy grid by 90% by 2035. Currently, 20% of its power needs are met by renewables and the rest by fossil fuels.
AMCS Great Barrier Reef campaign manager Dr Lissa Schindler said the energy plan is an important step for the State, which currently contributes a third of its carbon emissions to the energy sector.
“As Reef custodians, and with over 60,000 Queenslanders employed in Reef related roles, it is vital Queensland plays a leading role in lowering the emissions that cause the marine heatwaves that have damaged the Reef in recent years,” said Dr Schindler.
“Unless we stop digging up and burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas, climate impacts on our Reef are only going to worsen, and that is deeply concerning for our tourism industry here in Queensland.
“The best way to tackle the climate crisis is to rapidly cut emissions by steering Queensland’s energy mix away from coal and over to renewables. This will not only create more jobs and lead to cheaper energy bills, but will help protect the Reef.
“The announcement today shows how far Queensland has come in the last five years on climate action. This is a great step but Queensland still remains at the back of the pack in terms of its carbon emission reduction target, which is currently 30% by 2030 based on 2005 levels.
“The Queensland and Australian governments need to align their emissions reductions with no more than 1.5 degrees of warming. Scientists say this is a key threshold for our incredible Reef, and we need to get on with the job of achieving this”, said Dr Schindler.