The government has legislated its emissions target introducing the Climate Change Bill 2022 to parliament yesterday.
The bill is symbolic of Australia’s policy shift and mandates the government’s plan to reduce emissions by 43 per cent by 2030.
The government has already notified the United Nations of its updated climate targets and pointed out that by writing them into law it would send a strong signal to investors and other nations.
Introducing the bill to the lower house, Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen said enough time had been wasted delaying action on climate change.
"2030 is 89 months away; we don’t have long to achieve these goals," Bowen said.
The Greens Party has labelled the bill as too weak. The Greens want a commitment from the government that it will not approve any new coal or gas projects.
The Climate Council had a similar stance claiming deeper cuts were needed this decade.
Climate Council CEO, Amanda McKenzie, said the legislation can act as a springboard to make further cuts to emissions.
“It is important that the government has said their targets are the floor not the ceiling and can be improved overtime. But the language in the bill should make clear that there is no obstacle to governments going faster and further,” she said.
Climate Councillor, Nicki Hutley, said this next decade must be defined by strong game-changing climate action.
“The economic opportunities for a country like Australia are boundless. Clean energy exports could be worth $333 billion each year, that’s almost triple the value of Australia’s existing fossil fuel exports,” she said.
“We’re already paying a high and terrifying price for our climate inaction and time wasting. You only need to look around both here and overseas at the floods, fires and food supply crises in recent weeks to see that.
“The science is clear. The federal government’s emissions reduction targets and climate action agenda will need to be strengthened significantly over time to ensure deeper emissions cuts this decade.”