Australia adopts net-zero emissions by 2050 legislation: With the help of the Greens party and independents, Australia‘s parliament on Thursday approved government legislation enshrining a commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 43% by 2030 and to net zero by 2050.
After the Labor Party won the election in May and ousted the conservative administration. Derided as a worldwide laggard in the fight against climate change. The bill represented a first step toward climate action.
But adopting new environmental legislation will be more difficult for the administration.
Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen said that the passage of the climate change legislation “sends a message to the world that Australia is serious about driving down emissions and reaping the economic benefits from affordable renewable energy.”
The bill establishes an ambitious 2030 emissions reduction goal, up 50% from the previous administration’s level. Additionally, it calls on government organizations like renewable energy and infrastructure funding agencies to consider emissions objectives when making choices.
Industry organizations said they welcomed the law after more than ten years of climate policy uncertainty.
According to Sarah McNamara, chief executive of the Australian Energy Council, “enshrining a strategy in law provides companies and industry more certainty.”
Despite their support for the climate bill, the Greens said they would work to stop any new coal mines and natural gas projects by modifying a “safeguard mechanism,” which Labor plans to use to compel the most significant industrial polluters to reduce their emissions gradually.
About 215 industrial sites, including coal mines, liquefied natural gas (LNG), and manufacturing facilities. Which produced 28% of emissions in 2021, are covered by the “safeguard mechanism.”
That legislation anticipated for next year before its intended July 1 implementation date.
Enacting legislation opposed by the conservatives in the Senate. Where Labor does not possess a majority, requires the backing of the Greens and at least one independent.