Awani Review

Complete News World

Australia has enacted climate change legislation

Australia has enacted climate change legislation

Australia on Thursday passed its first major climate change bill in more than a decade, including emissions targets and enshrining the goal of net zero emissions by 2050 into law for the first time.

The law, a key election promise of the new center-left government, aims to cut emissions from this high-carbon economy by 43% compared to 2005 levels.

The speech, presented by the Labor government as an end to a decade of Australian climate deadlock, has wide support among unions and the business community.

Australia, one of the world’s biggest exporters of coal and natural gas, has been slow to adopt climate targets, although it is already feeling the effects, including more bushfires and floods.

Although it offers more ambitious targets than the 26 to 28% reduction planned by the previous government, the new law has disappointed Greens, who particularly believe new coal and gas should be banned.

“43% is not enough,” rugby star-turned-senator David Pocock told AFP.

“But it’s a start … I think it’s important that we legislate a goal,” he said.

Mr Pocock was one of the climate-conscious candidates who swept to power in the last election promising swift action to tackle climate change.

The climate issue was central to the defeat of the previous Conservative coalition government at the last election.

About 5.8 million hectares of forest went up in flames in late 2019 and early 2020, releasing enough smoke to significantly affect Antarctica’s ozone hole, researchers say.

However, fossil fuels — especially coal and gas — are at the heart of Australia’s economy, making climate action a politically sensitive topic.

See also  Biden warns of Russian cyber attacks in US

During a tense debate on Thursday, some senators went so far as to express skepticism about man-made climate change.