In response to the House of Representatives passing the Climate Change 2022 bill, the Australian Conservation Foundation’s climate program manager Gavan McFadzean said:
“ACF commends the Labor government, the Greens, independents and Liberal MP Bridget Archer for shifting the dynamic on climate change in Australia from inaction to action.
“While there remains some way to go, the vote today in the House, and the Greens’ indication they will support the bill in the Senate, is an important step forward.
“Climate damage is happening here and now in Australia and finally it looks like our federal parliament can be a force for action, rather than inaction.
“The bill has been significantly improved. We congratulate Labor, the Greens and the crossbench for negotiating in good faith and making it stronger.
“The amendments provide more rigour to the system whereby the target is increased every five years by adding reference to Article 2 of the Paris Agreement – which aims to limit global temperatures to 2°C and strive for 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.”
Under the Paris Agreement, Australia must increase its targets every five years, which means we can only move forward, not backwards, when it comes to cutting emissions.
“The amendments mean the independent Climate Change Authority must include the Paris obligations when advising on setting new targets and there will be greater accountability through annual reporting to parliament,” Mr McFadzean said.
“We welcome the introduction of an additional bill that will oblige federal laws and agencies to take into account the legislated climate targets.
“This will affect the soon-to-be recalibrated safeguard mechanism, the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, Export Finance Australia and Infrastructure Australia.
“We will continue to push to improve the climate bill as it is debated in the Senate, advocating for the inclusion of stronger language to make it easier for legislated targets to be updated when Australia strengthens its targets as part of the Paris Agreement.”