Zali Steggall says Government's Sea Dumping Bill requires more than a greenwashing title to fight climate change

3 August 2023

Zali Steggall MP says The Government’s Sea Dumping Bill requires more than a greenwashing title to fight climate change

Today Zali Steggall MP and members of the crossbench proposed a number of amendments and subsequently voted against the Government’s Environment Protection (Sea Dumping) Amendment (Using New Technologies to Fight Climate Change) Bill 2023.

Despite the Minister’s claims as to the purpose and need for this legislation, the legislation as drafted fails to ensure climate positive outcomes and adequate protections such as the precautionary measures included in the Treaty.

The truth is that atmospheric carbon dioxide already far exceeds safe levels for human civilisation.  We have a huge role ahead of us in removing greenhouse gases directly from the atmosphere in order to avoid the worst-case scenarios of global warming.

There is a role to play for carbon drawdown to ensure a safe and sustainable climate. But draw down technologies such as carbon capture and storage must not be used to justify further approvals or expansions of fossil fuel projects.

As currently drafted, this Bill opens the door for gas companies to expand fracking and extraction with the increased emissions offset by the false promise of carbon capture and storage.

While not surprising to see the Coalition support this legislation, it is telling that so many Labor MPs, avowed supporters of climate action, fail to stand up today and demand better legislation of their government.  

At a time of record global warming, we must accelerate emissions reduction.  Today, Labor and the Coalition voted together for fossil fuel expansion. Labour is facilitating the gas industry's greenwashing to get social licence for new planet boiling projects.