This week's release of The 2023 State of the Climate Report was yet another desperate plea for nations to do more about climate change, fast. With 2023 set to be Earth's hottest in 100,000 years, scientists say we are now in "uncharted territory", with changes coming even quicker than expected.
We know that climate change is caused by the vast amounts of greenhouse gases that humans have been pumping into the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution. And we know that fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas – are responsible for a whopping three quarters of these emissions globally. So why is the world still propping up fossil fuel industries instead of pushing harder towards a clean energy future?
It beggars belief that global fossil fuel subsidies doubled in 2022, despite the devastating storms, fires, floods and droughts that climate change has already wrought around the world. According to the Australia Institute, Australian governments spent a mind-boggling $11.1 billion on fossil fuel subsidies in 2022-23.
This has to stop.
Earlier this year, our electorate successfully amended the Federal Government's Safeguard Mechanism to prevent new or expanding fossil fuel projects from accessing government funding. I am continuing to work with my parliamentary colleagues, industry and our community on faster, stronger climate action to ensure a safer future for our children and theirs.
I was pleased to join Better Business Partnership for the launch of Greener for Business in North Sydney this week, and to hear what small businesses can do to save money and accelerate their transition to net zero.
I am also working hard to encourage the uptake of renewables and more energy-efficient electrical appliances in homes and businesses across North Sydney. My team has compiled a great list of government incentives that could help residents reduce their household emissions here.
The climate crisis is, in the words of Sir David Attenborough, "the biggest threat modern humans have ever faced." It will impact us all, and it will take every effort by every nation, every organisation and every person to overcome. The latest climate report is scary, but there is no time for despair. North Sydney, let's be the change we want to see — net zero, here we come!
P.S. Our first participatory democracy forum is happening this Sunday, with more than 30 North Sydney residents coming together to discuss ways to address the Housing Crisis. Participants will be hearing from some incredible speakers and reviewing some great public submissions. Thanks to all involved — I can't wait to see what we come up with as a community!