This year's United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris is drawing closer and Australians are looking for leadership, vision and targets to ensure the nation is well placed to compete and prosper in a low carbon future.
A recent annual poll by the Lowy Institute, an independent policy think tank, recorded the third consecutive rise in Australians’ concern about global warming. Now half of Australia’s adult population believe global warming is a serious and pressing problem.
And many on the progressive side of politics believe the Abbott Government is not doing enough.
Prime Minister Abbott has continuously expressed his distaste for renewables. And in so doing, he is putting thousands of Australian jobs and billions of dollars in investment at risk.
Since the Abbott Government was elected, investment in renewables in Australia has fallen by 88 percent. When the Opposition was last in power, Australia was ranked fourth in Ernst & Young’s Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index. Under the Abbott Government, Australia has continued to slip and Australia now just makes the top 10 in the world.
In stark contrast, renewable energy is a centrepiece of the Opposition's response to the challenge of climate change.
The Opposition wants to see 50 percent of Australia's electricity generated by renewable energy by 2030 so Australia can get its fair share of the $2.5 trillion of investment expected in this sector in the Asia-Pacific.
Most other major countries have ambitious renewable energy targets – and they are meeting them.
And many nations, including the United States and China, have already unveiled their post-2020 commitments for Paris.
Australians are still waiting for the Abbott Government to confirm our nation's post-2020 emissions reduction target.
The Opposition will continue to campaign for an ambitious approach to climate change and show leadership and vision on the issue.
Because the Opposition realises that Australia's future prosperity depends on the nation being a front runner in renewable energy investment, lowering power prices, reducing pollution and creating jobs to add to the 20,000 who currently work in the sector.