• Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie
    Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie

The biggest loser in this week’s federal budget was climate change.

The budget failed to take the crucial first step on the path to decarbonising and slashing household energy bills, because it prioritises subsidies for fossil fuels over renewable-powered electrification, according to Rewiring Australia.

The 2021-22 Budget contains more than $10.5 billion in fossil fuel subsidies, according to an Australia Institute analysis released this week the vast bulk of which ($8 billion) goes to the Fuel Tax Credits Scheme. 

Rewiring Australia chief scientist, Dr Saul Griffith, said funding should have been directed replacing fossil fuelled devices with solar panels, batteries, heat pumps, induction stoves and electric vehicles.

“Electrifying our homes and vehicles is the fastest and cheapest path to decarbonising our domestic economy. By 2030 it will save close to $5,000 per year per household on their energy bills,” he said.

“It’s disappointing to see taxpayer dollars directed to subsidising fossil fuels rather than investing in a cheaper, cleaner future.”

Last year, Rewiring Australia modelled the cost benefit of total household electrification for Australia's 10 million homes, demonstrating how Australians could take advantage of the falling costs of electric vehicles, batteries, solar, and wind, to help every Australian household save money.

It found a $12 billion investment would retrofit 10 million Australian households for full electrification by 2030 leading to national savings of more than $40 billion

A new report released by the Climate Council this week found the federal government has overwhelmingly failed on climate action over its three terms of government. The Lost Years report assessed the overall performance of this government which received a catastrophic failure scorecard.

Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie said right now, Australians are suffering through the nightmare of an off the charts flooding disaster.

“Despite this, the Liberal-National government has cut funding for effective climate initiatives yet again. It’s mind boggling,” she said.

“Australians have lost almost a decade of what should’ve been our moment to take strong and bold action on climate. We could be a nation that has embraced the limitless economic potential of a swift transition to renewables, but instead we’re clinging to coal, oil and gas.”

Climate Councillor Emeritus Professor Will Steffen, said the cuts to climate science under this government have been very damaging.

“Significant cuts were made in 2014 to Australia's climate science capacity, crippling our ability to understand the risks and impacts of climate change to Australia, and diminishing our contribution to the global climate science effort,” Steffen said.

"At the same time Australia’s fossil fuel production has expanded 19 per cent over the last three terms of this government.”


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