The Socialist Alliance 10-point climate action plan

1. Set immediate emission cut targets to reduce net emissions to zero as soon as possible, including a target to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2020. Introduce emissions reduction targets of at least 5% a year.

2. Begin new international treaty negotiations aimed to get all countries to agree on a global target of at least 90% emissions cuts on 1990 levels by 2030. Make cutting rich industrial nations’ emissions a priority, and increase aid to poorer countries to help them to use clean energy for their development.

3. Start the transition to a zero-waste economy. Legislate to end industrial energy waste. Improve or ban wasteful consumer products, such as those with built-in obsolescence. Engage with workers and unions to redesign their products and jobs sustainably.

4. Require advanced energy efficiency measures be fitted to existing houses and subsidise owner-occupiers for the costs. Allow renters to use the same system. Install photovoltaic solar panels and solar hot water heaters on home roofs, subsidised or owned by the electricity authority. Give all commercial buildings a deadline to meet six-star energy standards within two years, and 10-star standards within 10 years. Improve mandatory energy efficiency standards for all new buildings.

5. Bring power industries under public ownership and democratic control. Begin phasing out coalmining and coal-fired power immediately. Provide guaranteed jobs and retraining on full pay for affected communities. New sustainable industries should be built in these areas, with voluntary paid redundancies and free retraining offered to all workers. Run the maximum possible base-load power from existing natural gas and/or hydro power stations instead of coal until renewable energy is available.

6. Bring the car industry under public control. Re-tool this industry to manufacture wind turbines, public transport vehicles and infrastructure, solar hot water and solar photovoltaic cells. Subsidise the conversion of private cars to electric power.

7. Build solar thermal with storage plants and wind farms in suitable areas now. Boost research into all renewable energy sources. Create localised power grids and upgrade the national grid to make it compatible with 100% renewable energy.

8. Ban the logging of old-growth forests and begin an urgent program of reforestation, carbon farming and biodiversity protection.

9. Phase out industrial farming based on fertilisers, pesticides and fuel sourced from petroleum. Restrict farming areas to ensure that threatened ecosystems return to healthy states. Encourage new farming practices including organic and urban farming. This process must allow for security of food supplies, and guarantee full employment and retraining for rural communities.

10. Make all public transport free and upgrade services to enable all urban residents to use it for regular commuting. Nationalise and upgrade interstate train and ferry services. Rail freight must be prioritised. All rail, light rail and interstate freight to be electrified or to run on biofuels from waste. Encourage bicycle use through more cycleways and better facilities for cyclists. Implement free or low-cost bicycle rental networks.

[Excerpted from the Socialist Alliance climate change charter. Click here to read the full text.]

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