The Climate Change (National Framework of Adaptation and Mitigation) Bill 2020 released by independent MP Zali Steggall sets out a sensible framework for Australia to take meaningful action on climate change, says the Clean Energy Council (CEC).
The Bill includes a proposal for net zero emissions by 2050, a carbon emissions budget, a climate commission and five-yearly assessments of national climate change risk.
Ms Steggal has called major parties to bring the Bill to the floor and have a conscience vote.
CEC chief executive Kane Thornton said the Bill provides hope of finally ending the climate policy impasse that has afflicted Australia for the past decade.
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“The Bill introduced by Zali Steggall … draws on the experience of the United Kingdom and other countries to outline a positive national response to the challenges of climate change and emissions reduction.
“The fact that the Bill has already received support from a number of cross-benchers provides hope that we can finally leave the past decade of political squabbling behind us and move on with our transition to a low-carbon economy, to which renewable energy will continue to play a significant role.”
Mr Thornton said that over the past five years, the renewable energy industry had proven its ability to meet and beat any target put in front of it.
“The recent fulfilment of the Renewable Energy Target demonstrates that the renewable energy industry is well placed to do the heavy lifting towards achieving the Bill’s target of zero net emissions by 2050,” he said.
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“With renewable energy responsible for just over 20 per cent of Australia’s total electricity generation, there is a significant opportunity for the industry to expand its role in combatting the effects of climate change.”
The Bill has also been backed by Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes, who has urged the major parties to support it.
The billionaire and renewables enthusiast said the Bill was “a smart Bill, and the exact type of action we need to change Australia’s international reputation on climate”. “The legislated 2050 target and five-year increments are precisely what is required, and the bill deserves bipartisan support,” he said.