Last week's budget could have seized the global moment for action on climate change and shown real leadership from government. It failed.
While announcements such as an additional 396 jobs for CSIRO and funding towards disaster resilience and recovery are positive, they do not even scrape the surface of what is needed.
CPSU members are on the forefront of climate science and taking action to tackle climate change and respond to disasters.
Sustained funding cuts and job losses have weakened our nation's ability to fight the impacts of climate change.
This Coalition Government's 2021/22 Budget spent less than 1% on climate and environment, and had little towards renewables and instead focused on funding gas projects.
The role of the public service
There is so much more that should and must be done - at our last CPSU Climate Action Network meeting members planned to campaign in two key areas:
- The APS to have a plan to reach net-zero carbon emissions
- Investment in new APS jobs in the regions to diversify local economies and support communities
Since then, CPSU members' advocacy has resulted in a commitment in the ALP National Platform that the APS will aim to become a net-zero carbon emitter if the ALP is elected. Under the commitment, a Labor government would work with public servants, unions and other stakeholders to examine ways to cut emissions from transport, improve energy efficiency in buildings, purchase environmentally friendly products and reduce and recycle waste.
Other countries such as New Zealand have committed their public service to reaching net-zero and are already developed in the implementation.
The commitment from the ALP is a positive first step - but there is much more to be done through our Climate Action Network if we are going to win this important campaign. Spread the word and encourage your colleagues to get involved in our Climate Action Network - print off this poster and put it up on your union noticeboard.
Take action - support the Schools Strike for Climate
CPSU supports the next Schools Strike for Climate actions occurring on Friday 21st May. You can find what action is happening in your state here.
If you are attending a Schools Strike for climate action event you will need to attend either on your lunch break, or take flex or leave to attend.
If you work for an agency related to environment and climate, you should avoid publicly commenting, or commenting on social media, on your own portfolio.
If you work for an agency unrelated to climate and environment, and you’re posting about the event on social media or discussing the issue publicly, you should remember that it’s best to avoid making criticism that’s so harsh or extreme that it would call into question your ability to be impartial.
We also advise all members not to display your Government lanyards, ID or anything else that would identify you as an APS employee.
The students involved in the Schools Strike for Climate are eager to come along to speak to our CPSU Climate Action Network - stay tuned for details.