The Cost of Climate Change

Samaritans CEO

Amid fears of climate change, energy prices have soared by more than 80% in the last 10 years. More and more Australian families are struggling to afford their energy bill. Disconnections have increased by nearly 50% and evidence shows that it is the people on low incomes who are most affected by climate change and rising energy costs.

During winter time Samaritans sees an influx of families seeking assistance at our Emergency Relief Centres. Burdened with unaffordable electricity bills, vulnerable families are struggling to stay warm and keep food on the table. We do our best to help but until energy prices are lowered to a reasonable rate winter remains grim for vulnerable Australian families.

The challenge to tackle both climate change and rising energy prices goes hand in hand. The recent rise in energy bills can be attributed to all of the uncertainty in policy around effective climate change management. The recent Finkel Report, an independent review into the future security of the national electricity market, sheds light on strategies to tackle both of these issues. It is now up to the Government to enact an energy system that fullfils our international obligation in the Paris Agreement to reduce emissions and that protects Australians from unaffordable energy prices, particularly low-income earners.