NSW introduces Climate Change Bill to slash emissions

Fingers place little blocks on flat table spelling out 2050 Net Zero (climate change bill)
Image: Shutterstock

The New South Wales Government has introduced its landmark Climate Change Bill to enshrine emissions reduction targets law in the state and establish an independent Net Zero Commission.

The Climate Change (Net Zero Future) Bill 2023 commits NSW to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050.

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The state government is legislating emissions reduction targets to provide certainty and opportunity to households, industry and clean energy investors as we take firm climate action.

The Bill commits NSW to making its contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and its contribution to keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees.

The legislated 2030 and 2050 targets are essential to NSW seizing the enormous economic benefit of the transition to renewable energy, which will attract tens of billions of dollars in private investment, put downward pressure on power bills for households and businesses and generate thousands of jobs, most of them in regional areas.

To achieve the targets, the NSW Government is already taking strong action by investing $1.8 billion in renewable energy infrastructure, transmission and storage through the Transmission Acceleration Facility and Energy Security Corporation.

The NSW Government is also creating a new standalone Department for Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Water, and investing in the circular economy to drive down emissions from waste.

In addition to setting robust emissions reduction targets, the Climate Change (Net Zero Future) Bill 2023 will:

  • Establish the Net Zero Commission—a strong, independent, expert body to monitor the state’s progress to net zero. It will report annually to ensure parliamentary transparency and accountability
  • Put in place guiding principles for action to address climate change
  • Set an objective to make NSW more resilient to our changing climate
  • The NSW Government and Net Zero Commission will liaise with the state’s diverse regions and communities to ensure climate action is community-led, informed, fair and transparent.

NSW Minister for Climate Change, Energy and the Environment Penny Sharpe said, “These laws are a down payment on securing the future for the people of NSW. Climate change is already costing NSW through more frequent and more extreme weather events, droughts, floods and other disasters.

“Legislating 2030 and 2050 targets and creating an independent Net Zero Commission fulfils a commitment to the people of NSW that the government will take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and continue the renewable transformation of our energy system.”

Nexa Advisory CEO and principal Stephanie Bashir said, “Enshrining the existing net zero emissions target in law is good news for NSW as it provides investors and community with a clear signal that we are committed to transitioning to renewable energy sources that will bring prices down.

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“If the NSW government is serious about achieving these targets, we hope to see immediate action taken to ensure we can close coal-fired power station Eraring on schedule.

“If we take action now to accelerate the current build rate of renewable generation, storage, and transmission we will get the job of the clean energy transition done on time and leave energy users and the nation much better off in coming years.”

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