EXECUTIVE SUMMARY – Extract
The ACOSS and the Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) advocate to end poverty, inequality and exclusion, and create a more just, inclusive, equitable and sustainable nation. Climate change impacts; a slow, poorly managed transition to a clean economy; and unaffordable energy bills are major threats to achieving this vision.
People on low incomes and experiencing disadvantage spend disproportionately more of their incomes on essential services, making them more vulnerable to climate change impacts and a poorly managed transition to a clean economy, because they are less able to cope, adapt and recover.
The world needs to reduce its emissions rapidly. This can, and should, be achieved in a low cost, equitable and inclusive manner. There will be some costs as we manage the transition to a clean economy, but the costs will be far greater the longer we delay that necessary shift. Where there are costs, the most vulnerable people should be supported, including those on low incomes.
Despite at least 15 years of political effort, Australia still does not have an effective national policy framework that will ensure that we reduce our carbon emissions to responsibly tackle climate change. Emissions continue to rise and the impacts of climate change are being keenly felt in Australian communities, with global warming fuelling more intense and frequent extreme weather events such as fires, heat waves, drought, storms and flooding.
SOURCE: “Tackling Climate Change and Energy Affordability for Low-income Households.” ACOSS & BSL, September 2018.
Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia