Inner-city leaders have supported the NSW Government’s decision to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 50 per cent by 2030, with City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore labelling it “exciting news”.
The cut, announced this week, will create a new climate change target that aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 50 per cent by 2030, rather than the previous 35 per cent goal made 18 months ago. This will be a 50 per cent decrease from the levels recorded in 2005.
“[This] sets our state on course for genuine climate action this decade – to cut climate pollution and create clean jobs and energy,” Lord Mayor Moore said.
The move has given NSW the highest emission target of any state and has also received the backing of state leader for The Nationals and Deputy Premier John Barilaro, whose party at a federal level has failed to be convinced of an effective net-zero target.
State Member for Newtown Jenny Leong praised the decision but reiterated that work must be continued to fight climate change throughout the state.
“This is a great start and much better than where we were,” Ms Leong said.
“But let’s be clear – anything less than net-zero by 2030 is falling short.”
Ms Leong has long been opposed to Australian climate change targets, having petitioned for greenhouse gas emissions to be cut to 75 per cent before 2030.
Upon the announcement of the decision, NSW Environment and Energy Minister Matt Kean declared that Australia “should lead the world” in tackling climate change.
“As global demand for low-carbon products and investment grows, the fortunes of the state are increasingly tied to the fortunes of our planet,” Mr Kean said.
The revised NSW target is the most ambitious climate plan in the country barring the ACT, which has set a goal of 65 to 75 per cent by 2030.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said that the Net Zero Plan expects to attract more than $37 billion in private sector investment into NSW, support more than 9000 jobs, save each household $130 on electrical bills and help NSW become the first “trillion-dollar state” by 2030.
It was reported earlier this year that highly-urbanised parts of Australia, including Sydney’s inner-city, may become unliveable within decades with the growing prospect of extreme heatwaves across warmer and longer summers. Since 2019, all councils in Greater Sydney have been funding a climate adaption plan that has identified heat as the most pressing climate threat to Sydneysiders.
In 2017, the City of Sydney published their first climate adaption strategy which sought to raise the issues and opportunities that adapting to climate change presents. The City has set targets for a 70 per cent reduction from 2006 greenhouse gas emission levels for 2030 and net-zero emissions for 2050.
From 2006 to June 2020, natural gas usage has more than quadrupled in the City of Sydney LGA.