The community of Tathra’s vote in support of a 100 per cent renewable energy target by the year 2030 this week has the potential to spread across the nation, say advocates.
The economics of renewables stacks up now, and insurance companies are even preparing policies for climate events.Clean Energy for Eternity's Derek Povel
Clean Energy for Eternity’s Matthew Nott said the organisation wants the entire local government area to push to become the first in Australia to be powered completely by renewable energy.
“This has the chance to drive the national agenda,” Mr Nott said.
“Hopefully council can follow suit and adopt the target.
“This meeting is about attracting renewable energy jobs and investment into our economy.”
The community will vote on Tuesday night on whether to progress from its iconic 50/50 by 2020 target to one of 100 per cent over the next decade, with former Liberal Party leader Dr John Hewson and engineering professor Andrew Blakers guest speakers.
Mr Nott said the recently released report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations created guide for global policymakers, maps out what is needed to try to reduce the impact of climate change.
“We want a bipartisan, strategic approach to renewable energy. The ultimate goal is for Australia to become an exporter of energy,” he said.
The report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, recommends “national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector, indigenous peoples and local communities” be included in helping support “ambitious actions”.
The organisation’s Derek Povel said a complete shift to renewable energy over the next decade is “now essential”.
“The economics of renewables stacks up now, and insurance companies are even preparing policies for climate events,” he said.
The organisation said it is excited by the prospect of the $10million Labor Party election promise of a Community Power Hub for the town.
“It’s seed money so we can use that to further more investment,” Mr Nott said.
The organisation met with Eden-Monaro MP Mike Kelly on Friday, who said the community’s stance is putting the “national spotlight” on the economic and social benefits of renewables.
Nick Graham-Higgs, whose home was impacted by the 2018 Tathra bushfire, said he hopes “whatever party is in power” after the May election will promote a national shift to renewables.
Communities from Noosa and Hervey Bay to Broken Hill and Canberra have thrown their support behind the new target, during a campaign which included the first ever human sign at the top of Mt Kosciuszko.
“We’re turning imagining into a reality,” CEFE member Don McPhee said.