A growing number of sub-national jurisdictions are declaring a climate emergency and adopting climate emergency action plans.
Almost everyone agrees we need to stop using fossil fuels. The October 2018 IPCC Special Report urges very rapid reductions in the use of coal and fossil gas, and in November 2018 the Director of the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol, said, ‘We have no room to build anything that emits CO2 emissions’.
Stopping ALL fossil fuel use will require some planning, but stopping NEW fossil fuel projects is an easy first step that SA can take immediately. It’s easier than you might think – see SA Can.
The primary responsibility for approving or rejecting applications for new fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure lies with state and territory governments, not the federal government. The SA state government could ban all new coal, oil, and gas projects within SA immediately with almost no negative impacts. And other states and territories might then follow.
It would be a legislative breakthrough if SA were to enshrine in legislation the principle that activities that cause avoidable greenhouse gas emissions can be banned purely on climate grounds. The No More Bad Investments (NMBI) model legislation, co-authored by Environmental Justice Australia and Philip Sutton, would do just that. It focuses entirely on banning NEW projects that would increase climate risk, not because that will be anywhere near sufficient to restore a safe climate, but because that is an easy first step that is possible immediately…and time is of the essence.
Sign the SA No More Bad Investments (NMBI) petition.
To the Parliament of South Australia
We petition you to enact legislation to ban all new investment in projects that contribute to global warming. Bans should apply immediately where safe alternatives are already available.
Climate impacts are already killing people and destroying ecosystems. Every new climate-damaging project you approve puts us all in even greater peril and makes recovery even harder. You are failing in your duty of care if you encourage or allow new projects that increase the risk of disastrous climate impacts. It is madness for us to allow governments to get away with putting us at risk. We deserve better.
As a first step, this ‘no more bad investment’ legislation should ban all new coal, oil, and gas projects within South Australia. No new gas-fired power stations. No new gas exploration or extraction projects. No drilling for oil in the Bight. No coal gasification.
The resultant market certainty would mean renewable energy and energy efficiency alternatives would rush to meet demand with little or no financial incentive from government.
Numerous companies are already vying to build solar thermal with storage, grid-level storage via batteries or pumped hydro, and more solar and wind power to operate in conjunction with that storage. Similarly, innovations in all the other climate-damaging sectors of the economy will emerge once there is legislative certainty.
There is no need to put our people and ecosystems at greater risk by allowing investment in climate-damaging projects. We can power our state without sacrificing our future.