ACOSS commends the Labor Government, the Greens and Independents for working together in the House of Representatives on a strong start to take action on climate change. We urge the Senate to make further improvements to ensure the emission reduction targets are achieved in a fair and inclusive way.
ACOSS Acting CEO, Edwina MacDonald said:
“ACOSS congratulates the Labor Government for moving quickly to legislate emissions reduction targets, implement regular review processes and ensure relevant agencies have regard to these targets.
“We welcomed amendments by the Greens and the Independents that improve the original bill, to ensure the target is a floor and strengthen processes to increase the targets in line with the science.
“The science tells us that for Australia to contribute our fair share to avoid temperature rises of 1.5°C we must reduce emissions by 75% by 2030. It is therefore important that the 43% target being legislated is viewed as a start and can be ramped up.
“We also welcome the amendment to ensure that climate change policies benefit regional areas, however this needs to be extended further to ensure climate change policies improve the lives of people facing financial and social disadvantage.
“There is evidence that poorly designed and poorly targeted policy is contributing to inequality.
“Let’s be clear: we must urgently address climate change. We should, at the same time, ensure policies to address climate change support people on the lowest incomes as well.
“If we get the policy settings right, we can tackle climate change and improve the lives of people facing disadvantage, from the cities to the outback.
“We will continue to push for further improvements to the climate change bill in the Senate, specifically to ensure that climate change polices, procedures, and process are equitable, fair and inclusive.”