That is more than 50 times the yearly budget of the National Recovery and Resilience Agency that was set up to support communities impacted by climate disasters. Yikes!
If we want to fix a problem then we can’t afford to keep adding to it. The Federal Government must stop subsidising fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas which are driving worsening climate change. Even more clear? There should be no new commitments of public money for the extraction or consumption of any fossil fuels. The first step is a review of all the public money that is currently being handed to the fossil fuel industry through different departments and schemes prior to the 2022-2023 budget, with all money that’s identified being redirected towards zero emissions projects and infrastructure.
In 2021, the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres stated that countries need to “end all new fossil fuel exploration and production, and shift fossil fuel subsidies into renewable energy”. That includes Australia.
The ACT’s 2021-22 budget does not contain any subsidies to prop up fossil fuels, instead investing in renewable energy and emissions reductions initiatives.
This is aligned with the territory’s strong track record on climate action and net zero ambitions. The ACT has been powered by 100% renewable electricity since 2019 and aims to phase out gas and reach zero emissions by 2045.
Achieving deep emissions reductions while maximising economic opportunities for Australia needs targeted investments in the research, development and rollout of climate solutions and procedures to ensure this happens across all government departments.
The Federal Government needs to evaluate existing climate and energy programs and initiatives, and identify where support is still needed to get solutions off the ground. The 2023-24 budget should include a dedicated climate budget statement that captures the overall national spend.
Federal climate and energy spending must be well-coordinated, efficient, transparent and guided by an overall investment strategy that aims for the maximum possible emissions reductions this decade and beyond.
Case study: Since 2012, the Government of Nepal has integrated climate change and climate financing into national planning and budgeting processes.
Conducted at the programme-level across 11 ministries and scored for relevance, Nepal’s approach is upheld as a standard for its transparency, driven by the government, effective stakeholder dialogue.