A broad coalition of community, business, environment, and research sector organisations have issued a call to the Federal Parliament to support the inclusion of economic, employment, social and engagement principles in the Climate Change Bill 2022.
The Climate Change Bill 2022 sets out Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets, provides for annual climate change statements, confers advisory functions on the Climate Change Authority, and takes steps for related purposes.
The Climate Change (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2022 requires a range of agencies to have regard to the emissions reduction targets set out in the Climate Change Bill.
However, neither bill includes consideration of economic, employment, social, human rights and engagement principles when developing policies, programs and processes to achieve the emission reduction targets.
Greater guidance in the legislation will assist all relevant arms of government to make better decisions and implement those decisions more fairly and effectively.
A simple and effective solution is to insert a new clause into the objectives of the Climate Change Bill 2022 to include these principles.
ACOSS Acting CEO, Edwina MacDonald says that while the bills are to be welcomed, amendments must be added.
“We welcome both of these bills, but unfortunately, they could have unintended consequences, such as increasing inequality, inefficient investment or poor employment transition.” Ms Caught said.
“ACOSS is particularly concerned that poorly targeted and inequitable policies to reduce emissions are disproportionately benefiting people with wealth, choice and control and that people on low incomes are paying disproportionately more towards the clean energy transition and are missing out on the benefits.
“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, which is why it is essential our proposed amendments are adopted.”