Labor’s Climate Bill Is Set To Pass After Adam Bandt Confirmed The Greens’ Support
"To be crystal clear: The Greens have improved a weak climate bill but the fight to stop Labor opening new coal and gas mines continues and in this parliament, the only obstacle to greater climate ambition is Labor."
Greens Leader Adam Bandt has announced the party has secured the necessary changes to Labor’s climate bill and will vote to pass it.
In a National Press Club (NPC) address this afternoon, Bandt accused the Albanese Government of being unwilling to listen to science, but confirmed the party will support the bill regardless.
“While the government has been unwilling to adopt science-based targets and place a moratorium on new coal and gas, we have been able to secure improvements to the bill,” said Bandt in his NPC address.
“Ensuring that the target can be ratcheted up over time and that it is now Dutton-proofed with a genuine floor which means the target cannot go backwards. Changes have also been made to put in place greater transparency, accountability, and strengthen requirements on the Climate Change Authority.”
“Government agencies, such as Export Finance Australia, that in the past have funded coal and gas projects, will for the first time be forced to take climate targets into account. That would see them curbed from supporting fossil fuels.”
“They join a range of other agencies with new limits, including Infrastructure Australia and the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund. And more which I will come to in a moment.”
“That is why I can tell you today that tomorrow I will be joined by our Greens MPs in the House of Representatives in voting for the climate change bill and when the bill comes before the Senate, we will vote for it there as well.”
While he confirmed the Greens will back the bill, he stopped short of actually endorsing it — stressing that only improvements had been made to an otherwise weak bill.
“To be crystal clear: The Greens have improved a weak climate bill, but the fight to stop Labor opening new coal and gas mines continues and in this parliament, the only obstacle to greater climate ambition is Labor,” said Bandt.
“People need to be clear-eyed about the importance of this bill and that this government is bringing a bucket of water to a house fire.”
Bandt also noted that the decision to open more coal and gas projects could be disastrous for Australia’s climate emissions reduction ambitions; adding that if Labor continues to open more mines “the planet will burn.”
“Worse, even this smallest of steps on the road to tackling the climate emergency could be wiped out by just one of the 114 new coal and gas projects in the Government’s investment pipeline. The fight begins now to get Labor to stop opening coal and gas mines,” said Bandt.
Throughout his lengthy address, Bandt also discussed the importance of free childcare, Medicare providing dental cover, and the importance of Labor protecting people from poverty in its upcoming budget.
The climate bill legislates a reduction target of 43 percent by 2035 and net zero by 2050, and includes a mandate for the minister to deliver an annual report on the nation’s progress.
Bandt’s support of the bill is crucial as Labor needs the vote of all 12 Greens senators and one crossbencher to have the bill pass in the Upper House.
The Coalition remains in opposition to the bill.