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Home » #Explained: Australia’s New Law on Net Zero Emissions 

#Explained: Australia’s New Law on Net Zero Emissions 

australia zero emission

With the support of the Green party, Australia’s parliament passed government legislation enshrining a commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 43% by 2030 and to net zero by 2050. On thursday, the bill was passed by the Australian Parliament. After the Labor Party won the election in May and ousted the conservative government, it was expected to spearhead the fight against climate change.

But, getting more environmental legislations passed will be more difficult for the government.

Targets set forth in the Climate Bill

Two national greenhouse gas emission targets are set forth in the climate bill:

  1. a 43% decrease from 2005 levels by 2030 and
  2. a “net zero” reduction by 2050.

The measures emphasis that the 2030 objective is a floor rather than a ceiling. Basically, meaning that it is the minimal reduction that can occur but that further reductions are not prohibited by law.

The law mandates that numerous government bodies take the targets into account—that is, take climate change into account—when making investment choices. The Climate Change Authority, a ten-year-old organisation charged with providing policy advice, will have a bigger role in the implementation.

Chris Bowen, the climate change minister, would also have to present a yearly report on progress toward the targets to parliament.

The new law mandates that government organisations factor emissions targets into the development of their infrastructure, finances, and regulations. Additionally, it imposes new energy usage regulations on businesses, prompting many of them to adopt renewable energy.

Energy Crisis

Despite having a large solar and wind potential, as well as opportunities for exporting renewable energy and green hydrogen, Australia is currently experiencing an energy crisis. The crisis has been brought on by high global energy prices, an aging fleet of coal power plants, and a lack of investment in renewable energy by the previous government. In Eastern states, the crisis has resulted in problems with the energy supply, price increases, and blackouts. The east coast power grid of Australia is experiencing increasing capacity reserve difficulties, which require immediate attention.

Climate Change Consequences

The country is facing the climate change effects like catastrophic flooding, terrible wildfires, and the bleaching of its famed Great Barrier Reef, among other things.

The country of Australia has struggled to make progress in combating the climate issue for more than a decade. The last climate-related law it approved was in 2011.

Following the opposition to climate action from the previous conservative government, the new bill is considered as much-needed momentum in addressing the issue.

Word from the Minister for Climate Change and Energy

“Today is a good day for our parliament and our country, and we’re going to need many more of them,” said Chris Bowen, Minister for Climate Change and Energy, in a statement to the legislature.

According to Bowen,

“legislating these [emissions] standards brings stability to investors and participants in the energy market and will assist stabilise our energy system.”

The minister believes, the measure will benefit businesses contrary to the perception. Bowen also believes that an annual climate report to parliament will assist Australians to be more accountable. In addition, we will help fight against climate change become more transparent.

Read more on climate change

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