Abigail supported a Greens motion which recognised the recent IPCC report's urgent call for action - it's clear the Government must act NOW to save our planet and future.
Ms ABIGAIL BOYD (22:05):
I support the motion of my colleague Ms Cate Faehrmann. She is spot on to draw the obvious connection between our changing climate and the catastrophic weather events we have recently experienced. From withering drought through to rampant fire and most recently cataclysmic rainfall and flooding, the cadence of climate impacts has reached fever pitch. The scientific literature, as advanced and comprehensive as it is, is now almost struggling to keep pace. In the 24 hours to 9.00 a.m. on Monday 28 February, Lismore endured 775 millimetres of unrelenting, torrential rain. With a level of dramatic irony befitting this unfolding tragedy, the latest instalment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment report Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability was released on the very same day. The report found that anthropogenic global heating, caused by carbon and other greenhouse emissions from rampant industrialisation, was causing increasingly frequent and intense extreme events such as heatwaves, droughts, floods, storms and fires.
The risks and impacts of climate change are increasingly complex, compound and cascading, intersecting and interacting with non‑climatic risks that compound overall risk and cause cascading effects across sectors and regions. "Prescient" was a word that came to mind for many, yet tragically prescience was in short supply in New South Wales. Prescience or foresight would have seen this State equipped with a statewide climate change adaptation plan, as was promised by this Government in 2016 and meant to be completed in 2017. Last year I questioned the Treasurer on the Government's failure to deliver on that commitment. It is now 2022 and the commitment is five years overdue. Just weeks ago, I once again asked the Treasurer where this long‑overdue plan was and when the people of New South Wales could expect to see it. Once again, the people of this State were brushed off with the response that an announcement was coming shortly. "Would we have been better prepared for the current floods if we had a statewide adaptation plan?" I asked the Treasurer. "I don't think so," was his reply. I think the people of Lismore would disagree.
The hopelessly, recklessly delayed adaptation strategy is counteracted, according to the Treasurer, by the Government's strong mitigation strategy. But nothing could be further from the truth. A State with a strong climate change mitigation strategy would not be rushing new fossil fuel projects out the door, scrapping planning regulations that require emissions restrictions and efficiency mechanisms, trashing public transport options and destroying our natural environment. Climate change necessitates a transition away from an economy reliant on unsustainable consumption and production of greenhouse gases. A government that is serious about climate change would be deeply involved in planning the transition to a more sustainable and equitable society. We implore the Government to commit to doing better, not just in mitigating the worst impacts of climate change but also in developing a transformative adaptation plan that recognises the value of diverse forms of knowledge—such as scientific, Indigenous and local knowledge—in understanding and evaluating climate adaptation processes and actions to reduce the risks caused by human‑induced climate change.
The full transcript can be found in Hansard, here.