Parliament to debate climate change bill

The Greens are set to reveal their stance on the federal government’s proposed climate change bill as parliamentarians on all sides have their say on the legislation.

The government’s proposal enshrines an emissions reduction target of 43 per cent by 2030 and net zero by 2050, and will also require the minister of the day to report annually to parliament on the nation’s progress toward that goal.

Greens Leader Adam Bandt will reveal the outcome of a party meeting on Tuesday night, when members debated the proposal, at an address to the National Press Club on Wednesday.


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Negotiations between Mr Bandt and Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen have been ongoing after the Greens expressed initial concerns with the bill.

Labor needs the support of all 12 Greens senators plus one crossbencher in order to pass the upper house.

While emissions reductions targets were important, it was more important to introduce policies to uphold them, Mr Bowen said.

“The other thing that’s important to get investment in renewable energy and to get the targets underway is certainty and policy frameworks being legislated,” he told parliament on Tuesday.

“Not only does Australia now have a government that gets it, we have a parliament that gets it too and will provide that policy certainty and framework for investors right around the world.”

Independent MPs Helen Haines and Kate Chaney are absent from parliament this week after testing positive to COVID-19, but other crossbenchers will propose amendments in their names.

Ms Chaney’s amendment would ensure the bill clearly states that its intention is to actually drive climate action and is linked to science.

“The science shows a target of at least 50 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030 is needed,” she said in a statement.

“But I am keen to lock in this progress and continue to work with the government to pursue the opportunities presented by this necessary shift in our economic activity.”

Dr Haine’s amendments would ensure regional Australia benefits from action on climate change.

A meeting of Liberal and Nationals MPs and senators on Tuesday affirmed their opposition to the bill.

The coalition will develop its own climate policy in time for the next election which will include updated targets beyond their existing 26 to 28 per cent reduction proposal.

© AAP 2022