Members Statement: President Biden Climate and Justice Policies
Mr HIBBINS (Prahran): Joe Biden’s recent election was a welcome rejection of Trumpism in the United States, which unfortunately has become a feature of politics here at home, but what has also been welcome is the steps he has taken to address climate change and justice in the US. I thought it would be good to do a bit of a comparison about what has been announced in the US and what we have here in Victoria.
On energy he has promised a carbon-free energy sector by 2035 and is actually prepared to name the fossil fuels that need phasing out. You rarely hear this government actually name the need to get out of coal or gas, and by all accounts we are due to continue burning coal for decades to come, which is our biggest source of emissions.
On gas they have suspended drilling for oil and gas on federal lands. Here in Victoria we are opening up our state for offshore oil and gas drilling in the Otway Basin.
On EVs they have announced plans to replace their entire fleet of over 600 000 vehicles with electric cars and trucks, yet Victoria only has five electric vehicles and 29 plug-in hybrids out of a fleet of 10 000, no plan to increase it and a plan to make EVs more expensive.
When it comes to justice, they are actually phasing out private prisons. In Victoria we have got three private prisons housing around 40 per cent of the prison population, and their licences have been extended during this term of government. So there is a lot more we can be doing here in Victoria to prevent the climate crisis and to improve justice, and we see it in the United States.