A new campaign to “Repower NSW with clean energy” was launched on April 19, organised by the NSW Nature Conservation Council (NCC).
Professor Lesley Hughes, from Macquarie University told the crowd that human-induced climate change over the past 50 years meant the “Earth is warming 170 times faster now than in the past 7000 years”.
It means that “14 of the 15 hottest years on record have been since 2000. 2016 was the hottest year ever recorded. Even if all the pledges by nations in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement were implemented in full, we are still looking at a rise in global temperatures of 2.7 to 3°C”, she said adding that changing from fossil fuel-based energy to renewables is now urgent.
Friends of the Earth climate campaigner Leigh Ewbank outlined the successful campaign they carried out to convert Victoria from “laggard to leader” among the states.
He said the campaign to get Victorian premier Daniel Andrews to remove the tough restrictions on wind farms, imposed by the previous government, has allowed new wind farm projects to go ahead.
NCC climate campaigner Brad Smith talked up how solar and wind are now the cheapest forms of energy. “Right now, 67 renewable energy projects worth $13 billion are ready to go. Coal-fired power stations are beginning to close around the country”, he said.
Public opinion is strongly in favour of renewable energy. “What we need now in NSW in particular is: 100% renewable energy by 2030; retire five major coal-fired power stations; and make renewables a key issue in the next NSW state election.”
For more information on the Repower NSW campaign, visit nature.org.au/repowernsw