Anthony Albanese promises ‘orderly’ reduction in resource sector emissions | Greenhouse gas emissions

Anthony Albanese has promised to work with the resources sector to “reduce emissions in a predictable and orderly way” as Labor comes under increased pressure from the Greens to ban emissions-intensive projects.

Albanese made the comment at the parliamentary mining industry dinner on Monday, suggesting that the ‘cooperation and dialogue’ achieved by Labor at the two-day jobs and skills summit ‘should be the rule’ and not a “48-hour exception”.

The Greens introduced new ‘climate trigger’ laws to parliament on Monday that would ban emissions-intensive projects, as the government faces calls to also toughen its bill for a reduction target. 43% emissions in the Senate.

How it would work

There have been calls for a “climate trigger” to be added to Australia's national environment laws.

In simple terms, it would require the federal environment minister to consider the impact a major development would have on the climate when deciding whether it can go ahead.

It is not currently required under Australia’s national environment laws, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Bill.

This means the minister does not have to consider greenhouse gas emissions when assessing, for example, a new mining project or an agricultural expansion that involves large-scale land clearing.

A climate trigger consistent with the goals of the landmark Paris climate agreement could lead to emissions-intensive developments either being blocked or having to meet stringent conditions to limit their climate impact.

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Quick guide

What is a climate trigger?

Spectacle

How it would work

There have been calls for a ‘climate trigger’ to be added to Australia’s national environmental laws.

Simply put, it would require the federal Minister of the Environment to consider the impact a major development would have on the climate when deciding whether it can go ahead.

It is currently not required under Australia’s national environmental laws, the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Bill (EPBC).

This means that the minister does not have to consider greenhouse gas emissions when evaluating, for example, a new mining project or an agricultural expansion that involves large-scale land clearing.

A climate trigger consistent with the goals of the landmark Paris climate agreement could result in emissions-intensive developments being blocked or having to meet strict conditions to limit their impact on the climate.

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Albanese said Australia could be “a renewable energy superpower” and that “Australian metals and minerals will make this possible”.

Albanese described Australia as “the pre-eminent resource jurisdiction – the leading exporter of iron ore, lithium, LNG and metallurgical coal.

“I want to emphasize that our government will continue to work with your companies to reduce emissions in a predictable and orderly way, supporting the energy transition with certainty.

“Likewise, Australia will continue to be a reliable and stable supplier of energy and resources to our major trading partners.”

Earlier on Monday, the Greens tabled a proposed amendment to the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act to stop new projects that would emit more than 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year and force the government to assess the climate effect of developments that would produce more than 25,000 tonnes. .

Sarah Hanson Young
Greens Senator and environment spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young said her bill will “plug a huge loophole” in Australia’s environmental laws. Photography: Mick Tsikas/AAP

It would also make it an offense for an individual or company to take any action that has a significant effect on emissions, with civil or criminal penalties of up to seven years in prison for an individual or a fine of more than $10 million. . for a company.

Greens spokeswoman for the environment Sarah Hanson-Young said the Climate Trigger Bill would “plug a huge loophole” in Australian environmental laws and flagged the issue as the next point of discussion. flash in negotiations with the government on its climate programme.

“The climate wars won’t end this week with the passage of the Labor Climate Bill as long as they continue to approve new coal and gas,” she said.

“It’s crazy that in the midst of this climate crisis and environmental collapse, a new mine or development can get environmental approval without any consideration of pollution or climate damage.”

The Greens received a boost from unlikely quarters on Monday with Fortescue leader Andrew Forrest backing the call for a ban on new fossil fuel projects, saying it was the “responsible thing to do”.

Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek said the government was acting on the climate crisis by legislating higher emissions reduction targets and pledged to reform national environmental laws as well. She said it would respond to Graeme Samuel’s review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC) by the end of the year.

“As part of this process, we will look at various ways to improve our environmental laws to ensure they protect our environment and streamline decision-making. It means looking at a range of options carefully and in a consultative way,” she said.

Hanson-Young said it was hard to see how the Greens could support environmental reforms if they “allowed the minister to continue to ignore emissions when granting approvals for major projects”.

The bill’s introduction comes as the government has been pushed to do more on its climate legislation that was introduced in the Senate this week, with independent senators David Pocock and Jacqui Lambie proposing amendments they say will would improve transparency.

Pocock said he was disappointed with the government’s response, calling it “lukewarm”, but he had a “constructive and positive” meeting with climate change minister Chris Bowen.

“We both want to be constructive…our proposed amendment is really sensible and sensible and actually strengthens the bill,” Pocock said.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said he was happy to consider “serious proposals to improve the legislation”.

“I think we showed that when the legislation was before the House of Representatives and a series of amendments were passed,” he said. “I think the legislation is good legislation and deserves support in the Senate.”

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