Why are state governments taking on global battles? It’s beyond their ability – they’re just virtue signalling and chasing a headline.
The South Australian Labor government’s climate emergency motion passed both houses of state parliament on Tuesday night. This declaration will apparently move the economy towards renewable sources of energy.
Climate Minister Susan Close said 10 years of inaction and climate culture wars at the state and federal levels had left Australia exposed to the effects of climate change, as well as stymieing investment in the renewable energy sector.
The most recent United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report confirmed that some parts of Australia had already recorded increased average temperatures of 1.4C since 1910, she said.
“We really need to focus on supporting projects and policies which are climate-friendly and encourage growth in resilient low-carbon businesses,” Ms Close said.
“The government will position South Australia to take advantage of the global need to rapidly reduce emissions.
Opposition Leader David Speirs said it showed the government was more interested in chasing headlines than delivering real outcomes.
“Declaring a climate emergency without including any practical action is the very definition of virtue signalling and gesture politics,” Mr Speirs said.