A Bill passed the NSW parliament on 30 November. Reportedly, it was unanimously supported by Labor, the Greens, the Liberals and National Party. Was it about helping widows and orphans? Come on. What these days makes bedfellows of the main political parties? So-called climate change of course.
The Climate Change (Net Zero Future) Bill 2023 sets a target of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions in NSW by at least 50% from their level in 2005; and, astoundingly, due to the Coalition’s intervention, by at least 70% by 2035, before onwards and downwards to net zero by 2050. Yes, that’s right, the Coalition moved to strengthen Labor’s Bill. And, by the way, regulations may be used to adjust the dates by prescribing an earlier date, and adjust the percentages by prescribing a higher percentage. A one-way street.
In Renew Economy, I read that Georgina Woods, a Newcastle-based environmentalist and the head of research and investigations at the Lock the Gate Alliance, said on Wednesday that the speeches in the Legislative Assembly were a “joy to read.”
“Everyone thanking each other for cooperating, affirming commitment to ambitious action, acknowledging community advocates,” Woods reportedly tweeted on Thursday. Oh joy, indeed.
Not reported was the reaction of people in the outer suburbs and regions struggling to put food on the table while paying soaring electricity bills. But I think their local members would have taken that into account and understood that most everybody is prepared to make sacrifices for the cause. We gotta do it mum, said dad, to save the planet of NSW – was the common reaction around the kitchen table. Hmm?
My local NSW member is (Liberal) Tim James. Had coffee with him a couple of times before he entered parliament. Sound chap, I thought. Principled conservative, I thought. Though, when I think back, I’m not so sure he nailed those colours to the mast. In any event, I assume he voted for the Bill. Don’t want to single him out. Politics is a corrupting profession. Just read his summer 2023-24 newsletter pushed through my mailbox.
Nothing in it about the Climate Change Bill. Mostly local safe stuff. Buses and amenities, etc. He did report on a parliamentary trip to Armenia. Managed to be sympathetic to the Armenians without mentioning their Christianity or that their persecutors and attackers, the Azerbaijanis, were Muslim. He’ll go far in politics with that artful approach to contentious issues.
Back to the Bill. It’s an irony, isn’t it, that those same climate zealots, who effectively voted in parliament to complete the destruction of NSW’s reliable and affordable system of energy generation, will soon need to appropriate money to bribe Origin Energy to keep the Eraring coal power station, due for closure in 2025, open much longer. Blackouts otherwise. Real life’s a bitch, if you’ll forgive the uncouth slang.
To sum up: Parliamentary talk is (very, very) cheap, unlike unreliable renewables.