On the 4th of August (2022), Australia’s Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, took a step towards his promise to take action against climate change. In order to reduce emissions within Australia a bill has been passed within the House of Representatives. For the bill to come into law, it has to be passed by the Senate, this is expected to happen in September.
The bill states that the country’s greenhouse gas emissions must be lowered by 43% by 2030 from the rate it was in 2005. The legislation also outlines that Australia is committed to reach net zero by 2050.
Australia is the third largest fossil fuel exporter in the world, producing 7% of the world’s fossil fuel exports. The country has 114 new coal and gas projects in the pipeline, which causes major concerns when considering climate change and the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. As well as concerns towards how the country will reach its 43% target if these projects go ahead.
Many that protest against these projects state that this increase in coal and gas production will lead to increased global warming and the further damage of Australia’s landscapes, including the Great Barrier Reef, that is affected by coral bleaching due to rising temperatures. According to the Lowy Institute, 63% of Australian’s are for the ban of new coal mines.
Australia’s Green Party have stated that this percentage is too low, and that the country should be looking towards a 75% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
Chris Bowen, Australia’s Minister for Climate Change and Energy has claimed that the bill is “a floor, not a ceiling,” and has implied that future targets will be implemented.