The NSW Greens have announced a wide-ranging development plan to renew and stabilise NSW’s regions, and say these policies protect and promote sustainable agriculture, a clean energy industry and a diverse range of manufacturing and service industries.
Its a four point plan:
The Renew Regional NSW Fund will be funded with coal mining royalties being lifted by 2 per cent, and mining royalties by 1 per cent, diverting $250 million a year to transition coal mining communities away from coal.
This economic plan for NSW coal producing regions will facilitate diversification into other, sustainable industries, such as food processing and sustainable agriculture, and adds to the Greens ‘no new mines’ policy, which was designed to slow down the coal industry in NSW.
That earlier policy now aims further, seeking to end coal exports within five years and plans for any existing coal mines to be phased out completely, moving to 100% renewable energy within that time.
With less than 600 million tonnes of coal left to be extracted in NSW to meet the “carbon budget”, this policy ensures that NSW is doing its fair share to keep emissions down and within the internationally agreed 2 degrees rise in global temperatures.
“The Greens have a serious plan for sustainable economic development for regional NSW that will improve environmental outcomes and avoid the boom and bust cycle of dependence on mining.”
“Clean energy, sustainable agriculture, value adding, manufacturing and the services sector will provide long term economic development for regional NSW.”(1)
“The question is, will NSW have a planned and managed phase-out strategy for coal, or will we wait for a chaotic collapse of the industry?”(2)
Jeremy Buckingham MLC (Greens)
And the Greens are ready to go, having already developed a Responsible Mining Bill(3) to legislate for the protection of critical resources including water, productive agricultural land, forests and biodiversity from extractive industries. This will ensure the economic drivers for regional communities into the future are protected from short term destructive development.
With climate change effects increasing and the absence of an international agreement to combat climbing fossil fuel emissions, the new policy steps up the pressure for action on an industry that directly contributes to climate change around the world.