Australian Government confident in Emissions Reduction Act

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Australian government said Wednesday it was confident its greenhouse gas reduction target would be enshrined in law after negotiating amendments with senators outside the ranks of the new administration.

A bill to enshrine the centre-left Labor Party’s electoral commitment to cut Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by 43% below 2005 levels by 2030 was the first piece of legislation legislation presented to Parliament when it sat last week for the first time since the May 21 election. .

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said his government negotiated enough support for the bill to pass the Senate without changing the 43% pledge.

“I’m very confident that it will pass the House of Representatives and the Senate,” Albanese told reporters.

The 12 senators from the small Greens party, who want a 75% cut in emissions by the end of the decade, had agreed to back the amended bill, said Greens leader Adam Bandt.

“The Greens improved a weak climate bill and we will pass it,” Bandt told the National Press Club.

“But the fight to stop Labour’s new coal and gas mining continues and in this Parliament the only obstacle to stronger climate action is Labour,” Bandt added.

With the backing of the Greens, the bill only needs the backing of one of six remaining unaligned senators to gain a majority in the 76-seat chamber.

Albanese did not say which senator or senators pledged support or what his government conceded. But he said senators outside the government didn’t get “a whole bunch of stuff they wanted.”

“We have made our position clear. There will be amendments passed in the House of Representatives that make sense, that are consistent with our position,” Albanese said.

Labor has a narrow majority in the House of Representatives.

Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen said a legally enforced target would incentivize companies to invest in clean energy.

“It is now very clear that our legislation will pass through Parliament,” Bowen said.

The conservative coalition that ruled for nine years until the election will not budge from its commitment made in Paris in 2015 to cut emissions by 26-28%.

When Labor was last in power between 2007 and 2013, their climate plans were dismissed as too ambitious by the Tories and not ambitious enough by the Greens.

Environmentalists have criticized the Greens for rejecting a Labor bill in 2009 that would have made polluters pay for their greenhouse gas emissions through an emissions trading scheme because the Greens wanted bigger cuts.

Labor and the Greens agreed on legislation imposing a carbon tax on 350 of Australia’s biggest polluters from 2012, but a Conservative government scrapped the tax two years later.

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