Directions for South Australia – Climate Change

“South Australia must take the lead on low carbon consumption and ensure we are prepared for the impacts climate change will have on our industries and health.” – Kelly Vincent MLC

Introduction:

The Dignity Party support a 100% renewable energy target for South Australia. We believe we need to move away from our coal and gas industries which both produce greenhouse gas emissions, and are also bad for our health. Coal mining emits carcinogenic substances into the air, which is linked to the development of chronic diseases and cancer. Although gas is known as a cleaner and greener form of energy, it also generates air pollution. This is why South Australia must continue our commitment to renewables with storage.

The Dignity Party oppose the SA Governments plans to trial Underground Coal Gasification (UCG). UCG has been trialled in Queensland, but resulted in a complete ban due to severe pollution and contamination. The Dignity Party do not believe the health of our population, land and water is worth this risk.

The Dignity Party are also opposed to gas fracking and are opposed to unconventional gas explorations in the South East of South Australia.

Due to the impacts of climate change, we are likely to see a warmer climate and an increase in extreme weather including heat waves, floods and storms. In South Australia, we need to prepare for the impact this will have on our population’s health, as well as our food and water security.

Evidence suggests vulnerable South Australian’s are more likely to be impacted by the health impacts of climate change; this includes the elderly, young, people with disabilities, Indigenous Australians and those from a low socio-economic background. We need to ensure that our health and emergency services are educated and adequately resourced for the impacts of climate change with a particular focus on our vulnerable populations.

Changes in weather patterns are also likely to affect our food and water. South Australia must support and educate our farmers about the likely impacts of climate change and prepare to assist the industries that may be impacted. This also includes ensuring adequate mental health support is available in regional areas.

The SA Government should be promoting low emission choices for consumers. An emphasis on passive solar construction on all newly built homes, and increased insulation rating and detailed information about the different amounts of power used by appliances would make a difference. Other low-carbon consumption choices should also be encouraged both on an industry and individual level, such as lowering our meat consumption and reducing our food waste.

Dignity Party also acknowledge the importance of encouraging sustainable infrastructure. For example, the concrete industry is considered to be one of the largest producers of carbon dioxide. The SA Government should support initiatives to investigate more sustainable alternatives for our infrastructure and ensure these options are considered for new public builds.

Action:

Dignity Party believe South Australia needs to be prepare for the impacts climate change will have on our environment, health, and food and water security.

In South Australia we must:

  • Commit to a 100% renewable energy target;
  • Continue to invest in renewable technologies with storage;
  • Educate and prepare our health and emergency services for the health impacts of climate change;
  • Educate and support our farmers about the impacts of climate change on our food industries;
  • Ensure adequate mental health support is available in regional areas;
  • Encourage passive solar construction on newly built homes;
  • Increase education campaigns about cost effective and low cost energy options for households;
  • Use, wherever possible low carbon materials for new public infrastructure.

Dignity Party OPPOSE ongoing investment in high carbon industries where sustainable alternatives are available.

Dignity Party PROPOSE supporting sustainable energy and consumer choices.