20 February, 2020
WWF-Australia welcomes the introduction of a national Climate Bill by Independent MP Zali Steggall.
Countries around the world are implementing credible climate legislation and lowering their climate pollution. Australia has so much to gain by joining this global leadership effort. This Bill is based on similarly sensible legislation in the UK and New Zealand, which passed with the support of all sides of politics.
“Acting on climate change should not be a partisan issue, it is about the future of our economy, the future of the places we love and our present and future,” said Dermot O’Gorman, CEO, WWF-Australia.
After a summer of catastrophic bushfires, made worse by climate change that saw the devastating loss of human lives, over 1.25 billion animals perish, and thousands of homes destroyed, it is time for action.
“There is no silver bullet that will solve climate change. However, what this Climate Bill offers is a legislative framework for climate actions and the necessary steps to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, and ensure that Australia prospers in the future,” said Nicky Ison, WWF-Australia’s Energy Transition Manager.
The Climate Bill if implemented would:
• Require that every year the Federal Government assess the risk of climate change to Australia and Australians.
• Legislate a net-zero emissions target by 2050, putting in place policy certainty that will help all Australians to decarbonise our country.
• See the establishment of an independent Climate Change Commission, an institution modelled on the Reserve Bank of Australia that will report on the climate science directly to Parliament.
• Require the development of five year carbon budgets to inform how quickly we must act as part of our fair share of lowering global climate pollution.
At one degree of global heating we are already seeing unprecedented disasters from bushfires to drought, to floods. This is not the new normal, rather an escalating series of changes, that we must do everything to halt. By itself the Climate Bill is not enough, but what it offers is a significant step forward that we should embrace to break through the political barriers and help shore-up Australia’s future.
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