Federation to push all political parties to address climate emergency

Delegates have endorsed the roll out of a campaign to seek policy commitments from the major parties on how they will address the global climate emergency in the lead up to the March 2023 State Election.

Specifically, Federation leadership will pursue policy commitments from the major parties:

  • That acknowledge government has a responsibility across all its agencies including the Department of Education and TAFE NSW to ensure that climate change risks and mitigations are considered. Every school and every TAFE college, whether it is new or existing infrastructure, must be climate resilient and able to provide a safe environment for teaching and learning, with particular attention paid to the state’s most severely affected locations as well as the most disadvantaged communities.
  • To invest in skills and training so that workers and industry can make the most of the opportunities that a low carbon economy can provide. TAFE as the public education and training provider must be at the forefront of not only the delivery of quality training, but in the planning of skills development and training, focussing on where the jobs are needed.
  • That provide unambiguous support for public investment in renewable energy generation and storage and a commitment to a nuclear-free, fossil-free future for NSW.

Research and Industrial Officer Kelly Marks, who presented the climate report to Conference, said Federation welcomes the strong commitment to genuine action on climate change put forward by Labor during the election campaign.

The Federation acknowledges the significance of the Albanese Government’s first steps in the climate change portfolio both here and overseas since coming to power in May.

The Albanese government has committed to a 2030 emissions reduction target of 43 per cent, as well as moving 82 per cent of the national energy market to renewables over the same period, while most of the so-called teal independents are calling for a 60 per cent emissions cut. The Greens, with a record 16 MPs in the new parliament, are demanding a 75 per cent drop, a target also advocated by the Climate Council,” said Ms Marks.

Delegates voted to urge the Albanese Government not to follow in its predecessor’s footsteps by ignoring the scientific evidence and expertise to appease the vested interests in the fossil fuel industry.

Regretfully, many Federation members also understand too well the impacts of the climate emergency. In the last two and a half years alone, school and TAFE communities across NSW have been ravaged by fire, flood, drought, and extreme heat, the physical and psychological impacts of which are ongoing, months and even years after the extreme weather event.

Conference acknowledged the impacts of the climate emergency on the historical custodial practices and protocols of importance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and their duty of care to, and relationship with, the natural environment.

The science is clear: even if we succeed at keeping levels at 1.5 degrees warming, the world will continue to feel the impacts of climate change. We must plan to do better and prepare for the worst,” Ms Marks concluded.