Climate change is the greatest policy challenge of our time, which is why the Community & Public Sector Union (CPSU) today welcomes an announcement that an Albanese Labor Government will commit to a net zero Australian Public Service (APS) by 2030.

The public service is one of the 50 biggest emitters in the nation, and so taking action to get to net zero by 2030 makes a material difference to meeting national goals and our international obligations.

In addition, the Commonwealth must show leadership and be a role model for others.

The Commonwealth government can and should demonstrate best practice standards as a major employer and involve staff in developing and implementing solutions.

The Commonwealth can also play an important role through its procurement of goods and services by setting targets and driving change to encourage the uptake of climate solutions.

The Labor plan announced today stands in contrast to the track record of the current Government – who has not set ambitious emissions targets for the federal public service, or even published reports on annual operational emissions for the APS since coming to office in 2013.

CPSU believes that Labor’s net zero plan for the public service is practical and readily achievable.

Melissa Donnelly, CPSU National Secretary says, “The public service is one of the 50 biggest emitters in the nation, and so taking action to get to net zero by 2030 makes a material difference to meeting national goals and our international obligations.

“The next parliament must show leadership on climate change and, as a major employer, the federal government can do that by setting the standard for best practice in net zero operational emissions. The solutions already exist; it is possible to achieve net zero by using existing technology and emissions-reductions solutions.

“Today’s announcement is a welcome change from what we have come to expect from the Morrison Government, which has refused to even publish the annual operational emissions for the APS.

“The federal government should be leading by example. Today’s announcement would establish the public service as a leader and role model.”