14 July 2021
MEDIA RELEASE: CLIMATE CHANGE BILLS REPORT RELEASED
On the same day that the Australian Energy Market Operator is calling for greater investment and collaboration in clean energy, the Morrison Government has rejected the need for a clear climate policy framework proposed by the Climate Change Bills introduced by Independent Zali Steggall MP which legislate net zero by 2050 and are widely supported by key sectors including business, environmental, science, health and unions.
The report, tabled today by the Energy and Environment Committee, ignored key evidence from business and industry groups including the Business Council of Australia, Responsible Investment Association of Australasia and Australian Industry Group.
All organisations unanimously called for the Government to legislate a plan in addressing the impacts of climate change.
The inquiry had over 6500 submissions, of which 99.9 per cent supported the Private Member’s Bill. Instead, the Government-majority committee recommended the Bills not be passed.
Ms Steggall says she is disappointed but not surprised by the Government’s response, saying “Never has a Liberal government been so out of step with the Australian business and investment community on a key issue as the current Government led by Scott Morrison”.
“Today we have the Chief Executive of AEMO calling for an ambitious target for our country to establish an electrical grid ready to handle moments of 100 per cent renewable energy by 2025. And at the same time, the Morrison / Joyce Government is rejecting a plan that could help get us there.”
She went on to say that now, more than ever, business groups need certainty for the future.
“In a time where industry and investors have been battered by COVID-19 they do not need more challenges. They need the Morrison Government to smooth the transition on climate for them. The inquiry has shown the accepted model to do this is proposed in the Climate Change Bills.”
Ms Steggall, who won the seat of Warringah on a strong climate action platform, said the response by Coalition MPs on the Committee should be a wake-up call to all electorates who have liberal MPs who say they support action on climate change but don’t deliver anything.
“This report has ironically paved the way for more independents to challenge moderate MPs who say they are strong on climate action and have failed to support the clear call for policy certainty on climate,” she said.
“MPs like Trent Zimmerman should be embarrassed by their own Government’s failure to act on climate change. They are looking for excuses not to support the approach proposed in the Bills and the recommendations; suggesting Australia should not be advised by independent experts when Australia has for the last 16 months followed expert advice at every turn in its response to Covid. ”
“It is just strange to take issue with the proposed Climate Change Commission for being unelected experts advising government when for the last 18 months, the Government has followed the advice of the unelected chief medical officers in its response to Covid, and had no qualms in setting up the unelected advising Covid Coordination Commission, led by Nev Power, when it suited the Prime Minister.”
“The Government talks about technology roadmaps to reduce emissions. But technology, like vaccine rollouts, needs targets and coordinated plans to deliver the results Australia needs.
“At a time of great uncertainty over the Coalition’s climate change policy and commitment to Net Zero by 2050 due to the re-election of Barnaby Joyce as Nationals leader, the Climate Change Bills are needed more than ever to prepare and protect Australians from the impacts of climate change.” Ms Steggall said.
The Report including Ms Steggall’s dissenting report from page 79, can be found here: https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House/Environment_and_Energy/ClimateBills2020/Report
Zali Steggall MP introduced the Climate Change Bill in November 2020 as a Private Member’s Bill that would set a net zero target by 2050 in law. See www.climateactnow.com.au
For media requests call Bronwen Regan on 0438 404 841