The 2018 Australian Federal Budget was recently delivered by treasurer Scott Morrison, and it held no good news for the environment. With mention of climate change conspicuously absent from the Budget speech, it is apparent that environmental conservation is not at all a priority for the Turnbull government.
A recent report from the Climate Council outlined the serious environmental implications of the budget:
- Investment in reducing greenhouse gas pollution is projected to drop from $3 billion in 2018 to $1.6 billion in 2019.
- The Renewable Energy Target (a government initiative designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and encourage the use of sustainable and renewable sources) will be phased out from 2020. Meanwhile, the fossil fuel industry will continue to receive billions of dollars’ worth of government funding.
- The budget confirmed that the Federal Government will not adopt the 50% Renewable Energy Target proposed by the Opposition. Millions of dollars will instead be directed to the National Energy Guarantee, which as the Climate Council states is “woefully inadequate” when it comes to battling climate change.
With Australia being a global leader in rates of animal extinction, according to National Geographic, addressing environmental issues is more crucial than ever before. It is clear that the Budget is at odds with public sentiment, with recent polls indicating that 82% of Australian citizens wish to retain or increase Federal Government spending on renewable energy. Though the Turnbull Government’s Federal Budget neglects the environment and fails to adequately address climate change, it is clear that wider Australia wants to embrace renewable energy and sustainability.
As the Climate Council states, “The pursuit of clean energy and a sustainable future is squarely in our hands”.
Feature Image Source: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff