NSW and Tasmanian Labor Parties back renewable target

NSW Labor has used its annual conference to call for a decisive renewables target, bringing Australia into line with international efforts.

Delegates at both the NSW and Tasmanian Labor Conferences held over the weekend urged the party’s Federal leadership to take immediate steps to meet the emissions target outlined by Australia’s Climate Change Authority (CCA).

The CCA, an independent body advising the Federal Government, has recommended a minimum carbon emissions reduction of 19 per cent of 2000 levels by 2020.

Australia’s current bipartisan target remains to cut 2000 emissions by at least 5 per cent, by the end of the decade.

The vote opposed any reduction in the national Renewable Energy Target, which mandates a minimum supply of 41,000 gigawatt-hours of wind, solar power and other renewable energy sources by 2020.

A package of environment measures were passed by the weekend's NSW Labor conference including creation in government of a state-owned corporation, NSW Renewable Energy Futures.

The corporation, to be funded by the sale of NSW's share of the Snowy Hydro to the federal government and green bonds would "build, invest, own, and operate large-scale renewable energy and storage technologies, whilst modernising the grid".

The motion says the corporation "will maximise the speed and efficiency of the energy transition, reduce prices for consumers, maximise job opportunities in the future economy for regional NSW, and deliver dividends for the people of NSW in a shared and decentralised energy future".

It also commits Labor to investigating the creation of a Renewable Energy and Technology Hub in the Hunter.

The measures would be included in a new Climate Change Act.

The motions passed following negotiations with the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union and the Australian Workers Union.

Tasmanian conference delegates joined their NSW partners in backing the motion to pursue ‘early adoption’ of targets designed to slash emissions levels set in 2000 by 40-60 per cent by 2030.

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