Bold or bla bla bla - Is the new Climate Bill Half Baked?

Illustration of cone mega phone

After years and years of devastating floods, fires, droughts, and heat waves, our climate finally got a break in the 2022 election with a new Government who is committed to rolling up their sleeves and taking action on climate. Hoorah! 

Just this month, the new parliament sat together for the first time since the election and the first thing they wanted to talk about? Climate Action! First up on the agenda is the Climate Bill (which is in the final stages of being passed) that would apparently commit Australia to taking serious and urgent climate action like… NOW. Double Hoorah!!! …. Right?! 

Seeing Australia’s first piece of climate change legislation in more than a decade is promising. But does this new bill deliver the goods or is the plan half Baked? Dive into the details with us…

What does the Bill propose?

The Bill wants to do main 3 things - 
  • Firstly, it wants to write into law emissions reductions targets that would see Australia cut emissions by at least 43% by 2030, and reach Net Zero by 2050. 
  • Next, it wants to hand back authority to the Climate Change Authority to monitor Australia’s progress and help create future targets. 
  • And lastly, it also asks that some key decision-making agencies take into account the reduction targets in their work (for example, a new gas pipeline being built).

We’re in a climate crisis - Is this enough?!

We looked to our friends at the Climate Council to understand whether the bill is serious enough to drive the urgent action we need in Australia. The answer? Well… it depends on what happens next and whether new fossil fuel projects are approved in Australia.

What’s really important in our race towards net zero is that we get there fast, and keep global warming as close to 1.5 degrees as possible. What the bill does do is show Australians (and the world) that the new government cares about climate, and is beginning to roll up their sleeves to put in the work. 

What it doesn’t do (and this is why what happens next is the really important part) is that it doesn’t promise the Government will stop backing new coal and gas projects. Right now, there are 114 new coal and gas projects in the pipeline that the Government is backing. Even a few of these going ahead will blow our emissions targets out of the stratosphere

The best climate science is clear: we cannot afford to open any new coal mines or gas & oil wells. We know coal and gas corporations aren’t the answer to the energy & climate crisis - they are actually the cause of it so we have to look elsewhere for the solutions. 

The good news is that we don’t have to look any further than up! Australia is one of the sunniest and windiest continents in the world. We have the potential to be a renewable energy superpower, sending sunshiney-energy all over the world. We don’t need any new fossil fuels as we transition to energy powered by the wind and sun - which is why we need to put a ban on all new fossil fuel extraction while we make this transition.

Send a message - no new oil & gas!

We think the new Government absolutely is willing to do the right thing for our planet - but maybe they just need a little reminder from us! Take action by adding your name to this AYCC petition here