Upper house

Climate Bill for 43% reduction in emissions by 2030 passes Australia’s lower house

Australia’s federal government has passed its Climate Bill, including a 43% emissions reduction target, through the lower house.

It passed 89 to 55 with the support of the Greens, Teal Independents and Tasmanian Liberal MP Bridget Archer after a number of minor amendments.

The legislation sets a target of 43% reduction in carbon emissions from 2005 levels by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050.

“This is the fulfillment of a fundamental promise we made in the election,” Prime Minister Anthony Albanese told reporters on August 4. program that we submitted to the elections, that it was adopted by parliament.

Independent MP “Teal” Zali Steggall said the next step would be the phasing out of oil, coal and gas.

An amendment to halt all new oil, coal and gas projects, proposed by Greens party leader Adam Bandt, was defeated.

He also voted against the amendment to further raise the emissions reduction target to 75% by 2030 and net zero by 2035, proposed by the Greens and Teal Independent MP Andrew Wilkie.

Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen said the vote signaled that Parliament was stopping thinking about whether to cut emissions and starting to work on how to cut emissions.

“Renewable energy is the cheapest form of energy, renewable energy is the key to reducing emissions and seizing the jobs opportunity that is the climate emergency”, he told parliament.

The prime minister noted that all coalition members except Archer opposed the bill and implored coalition senators to ‘change their minds’ when the bill is introduced in the upper house.

Chris Bowen, Labor Party’s Minister for Energy and Climate Change, speaks to the media during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, June 16, 2022. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

Opposition backs nuclear

Meanwhile, coalition leader Peter Dutton has opened the door for the Liberal-National coalition to put nuclear power on the table as a policy of the future.

He said renewable energy sources play a role in Australia’s energy mix and must be balanced by investment in dispatchable power generators.

Based on current trends, around 60% of Australia’s coal-fired generators would be shut down by 2030, potentially leaving households and businesses vulnerable to blackouts, Dutton said.

“The current energy crisis has shown the importance of having more dispatchable energy in the grid,” he said in a statement.

Bowen said the opposition, by giving the green light to nuclear, was supporting “the most expensive form of energy”.

“We have a cost of living crisis, energy prices are exploding and what [the opposition’s] big bright idea? Let’s have the most expensive form of energy we can think of, he said.

Daniel Y. Teng contributed to this report.

Rebecca Zhu

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Rebecca Zhu is based in Sydney. She focuses on Australian and New Zealand national affairs. Do you have any advice? Contact her at [email protected]