NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean is in the wrong party - making friends in all the wrong places
Sunday, 29 December 2019
Kean asks for plan for NSW to lead green economy
The NSW government has commissioned the state's chief scientist to prepare a blueprint for a radically decarbonised economy that will lay the groundwork for the state to become a leader in clean energy exports and green technology.
NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean said the move will ensure NSW is not "left behind" in the move to renewable energy, amid criticism that the federal Coalition government has not done enough to combat climate change.
"You don't need to believe in climate change to believe in capitalism," Mr Kean said. "We should absolutely take action to address climate change for our environment but just as importantly for the future of our economy."
NSW Chief Scientist Hugh Durrant-Whyte will outline technologies and services to reduce carbon emissions or adapt to climate change where NSW can have a competitive advantage.
Mr Kean said Professor Durrant-Whyte may examine the option of nuclear energy, as recently spruiked by former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce, but "we don't have a competitive advantage on nuclear".
Instead, Mr Kean flagged green hydrogen as a potential climate solution but said he did not yet have Professor Durrant-Whyte's interim report, which was expected by the end of January.
Commonwealth chief scientist Alan Finkel has also pushed green hydrogen - hydrogen fuel created by renewable energy sources - at a recent meeting of state and federal ministers.
Mr Kean said NSW would forge ahead with its goal for zero net emissions by 2050 and chasing the economic opportunities of a low-carbon world economy regardless of what the federal government or the other states were doing.
"I want to make sure NSW is not left behind the rest of the world," he said. "Doing nothing is not an option - the rest of the world is moving, we can't afford to stand still."
The report will also identify any barriers to the development of the sector and the role of government in fostering the emerging export opportunities.