The LNP have a shocking track record when it comes to action on climate change. Their poor form exists at every level of government.
Labor’s clean energy package in 2011 was undermined by Tony Abbott’s radical right wing program of climate denialism. In Government, Abbott tore apart investment in renewable energy and Australia was put on track to be a climate backwater.
At a state government level the LNP have always derided renewable energy and sought to make it a choice between jobs and climate action. Their politics on this issue has been rejected at two State Elections but that culture in the LNP remains alive and well.
Adrian Schrinner’s LNP in the Brisbane City Council talks a big game on green initiatives but when you scratch the surface, a lot is left to be desired.
Brisbane City Council does a reasonable job of keeping track of its carbon footprint. The annual reports also keep track of the lack of interest and action by Adrian Schrinner and the LNP on this important issue. In the last 12 months Council’s carbon footprint is up 267,000 kg. But it’s still business as usual from the LNP.
The plan to deal with these rising emissions from Council’s operations is to buy cheap overseas carbon offset credits. These credits invest in projects like China’s Three Gorges Dam which has flooded 100 villages.
There is no investment in local carbon offset projects and no real accountability that ratepayers’ money is being spent wisely.
Investing in local carbon offsets would see jobs created here in Brisbane, across Queensland and around Australia. It would see less reliance on unaccountable overseas credits.
Making Brisbane City Council’s operations truly carbon neutral should be a priority. As the largest council in Australia it should be bold with climate policy and action and lead the way towards carbon neutrality.
For too long simple actions like bushland acquisition have been politicised and genuine carbon-offsetting bushland has been left for developers’ bulldozers. We should prioritise the purchase of genuine bushland under threat.
In the past, thousands of hectares of bushland, like the Boondall Wetlands, were bought, but now house blocks in Mt Gravatt East are being purchased with ratepayer money right before an election. These blocks had developments proposed for them that locals were against. So to save face and votes the LNP bought the blocks even though they weren’t home to any vulnerable wildlife. This misuse of funds needs to change.
Having a solid commitment to making Brisbane a carbon neutral city would be a game changer in the national conversation about how to deal with climate change. Acting now will get us ahead of the game.
Brisbane could be the first city with an entire fleet of electric buses. With over 1,200 buses in the fleet, this commitment would send a strong signal that EV manufacturing has a future, not just in Australia, but right here in Brisbane.
You cannot have a world class economy without a commitment to clean energy and you cannot have a world class city in the 21st century without a commitment to being carbon neutral.
For too long the LNP Administration has been fudging the figures. There has been no discernible shift towards being a leading city and that means Brisbane will be left behind on the jobs front as we head further into a clean energy century.
Brisbane needs leadership on climate action. Leadership the LNP has failed to provide. Leadership Labor hangs it hat on.