The South East Climate Alliance have issued a statement following the federal budget, calling it a 'climate shocker'. SECA spokesperson, Allan Rees, said "The South East Climate Alliance* are local community members – many of us directly affected by the black summer bushfires. We want a national government to step up and do more to seriously tackle climate change.
"Despite all the recent extreme weather events and destruction caused to people's property and lives, the Morrison Government delivers a budget that cuts funding to climate action. While at the same time significantly increasing funding for fossil fuels which will accelerate global warming and increase the frequency of extreme weather events – floods, bushfires, heatwaves, strong winds, storm surges.
The South East Climate Alliance representative said “it is particularly disappointing that the budget includes:
● cutting 35% of the funding for the Federal Government's clean energy agencies over the next 3 years. Investment in renewables drives down electricity costs.
● $0 for the electrification of transport – electric trucks and cars to drive down transport costs.
● Zero $0 for energy efficiency measures including rebates for upgrading appliances from gas to electric (hot water heat pumps, reverse cycle air conditioners) to realise significant energy savings”.
"The only positive climate announcement was $148.6m for community solar and wind microgrids in areas too remote to have access to the power grid.
“Unbelievably the Federal Budget included another $300m for the gas industry. This includes gas pipelines, storage infrastructure, and new gas extraction projects across Victoria, Queensland, and the Northern Territory. The funds will support the ongoing development of new gas projects in the Beetaloo, Surat and Bowen gas basins” said Allan Rees. "This is on top of the up to $600m the Federal Government has allocated to build a new gas fired power plant at Kurri Kurri. It is expected to be powered initially by diesel – an even more expensive and polluting fuel – before receiving its gas supply.
"Gas emits about half the carbon dioxide released from coal when burned, but Global Energy Monitor, a US research and advocacy group, found the role of fugitive methane emissions from new gas developments in global heating was likely to be as large as the expansion of coal power. Methane lasts in the atmosphere for only about 12 years but is much more potent than carbon dioxide.
"SECA demands an end to subsidies for destructive fossil fuels, support for renewable energy and assistance for communities affected by the transition.
*The South East Climate Alliance has community members from the following local groups: Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action, Repower Shoalhaven, South Coast Health and Sustainability Alliance (SHASA), 350 Eurobodalla, Climate Action Monaro, Nature Coast Marine Group, South East Region Conservation Alliance, Zero South East, Climate Action Now, Extinction Rebellion and Friends of the Forest Mogo.