Status: 04/08/2022 3:13 PM
Australia has been hit particularly hard by the consequences of climate change – but so far it has done little. That’s about to change: The House of Representatives introduced climate law for the first time.
Australia’s lower house of parliament has passed a climate bill for the first time in the country’s history. After several amendments, the bill was passed by 89 votes to 55 in the capital, Canberra. The Labor government that took office in May wants its plans to fight climate change – in particular to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 43 per cent by 2030 – enshrined in national law. The law will be presented to the second chamber of Parliament, the Senate, in mid-September.
After the vote in Parliament, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese spoke of “delivering a basic promise” his party made to voters. “Passage of this law sends a great message to the people of Australia – that we are really doing something about climate change.” Albanese aims to reduce Australia’s carbon emissions by 43 per cent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels.
Green approval has been uncertain for a long time
Scott Morrison’s former conservative government has come under fire for its hesitant stance on climate policy. However, Albanese recently said in an interview with ABC radio that he does not want to stop coal mining, which has been criticized by climate experts, so as not to overburden the economy.
Until recently, it was not clear whether the Green Party would support the law. In weeks of negotiations, the party initially pushed for a cut in greenhouse gas emissions by up to 75 percent, which Labor rejected. Green Party leader Adam Bandt finally pledged support for his party last night.
Australia is particularly affected by climate change
It remains important to act as quickly as possible, Pandt said: “If we reach 2 degrees[of global warming]we will have to say goodbye to the Great Barrier Reef and parts of Australia could become uninhabitable if we go beyond that.” However, the struggle against the opening of new coal and gas mines by the Labor Party continues. Independent politicians also emphasized that emissions targets should be understood as a minimum with plenty of room for improvement.
Australia has felt the effects of climate change hard in recent years: in 2019, massive bush and bushfires in the east of the country devastated an area the size of Finland, in February 2022 floods caused massive damage. recently renewed Great white coral of the Great Barrier Reef a favour.