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After the bushfires, Parliament must vote for Zali’s Climate Change Bill

The Beagle Editor, After the bushfires, Parliament must vote for Zali’s Climate Change Bill

There’s a climate wars circuit breaker hitting Parliament today (Monday) when Zali Steggall MP launches her Climate Change Bill. The bill calls for the Parliament to adopt sensible climate change legislation that will align national policy with state governments’ and the private sector’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2050.

This bill should be supported by all parties in Parliament. We must end the climate wars and cure the decades-long policy paralysis that has prevented effective action to lower emissions and return to a safe climate.

The official name of the bill is Climate Change (National Framework for Adaptation and Mitigation) Bill 2020. It’s the result of wide consultation with business groups, environmental organisations, law experts and federal MPs.

Besides a national target of net zero emissions by 2050, other key elements of the bill are comprehensive climate risk assessment and adaption plans, adoption of the government’s Technology Investment Roadmap to identify and developing low emissions technologies Royal Commission and an independent advisory commission that tracks progress, advises government and reports publicly.

The independence of the advisory commission is so important. This will provide an authoritative voice taking the politics out of what to do about emissions. It will be able to advise on urgent and thorough responses to rising emissions and the extreme weather, worse droughts and unprecedented bushfires they cause.

The Bill will be seconded by Rebekha Sharkie MP and is supported by the Australian Business Council, Atlassian, the Climate Council, Australian Energy Council and WWF Australia, among others. It has been endorsed by prominent leaders including Christiana Figuerres, the former UN climate chief who oversaw the Paris Agreement, Economist Professor Ross Garnaut and US Climate Scientist Dr Michael Mann.

The Climate Act Now website, www.climateactnow.com.au has been relaunched, calling on Australians to support the bill and add their name to the many signatories from every electorate in Australia.  Allan Rees, coordinator of climate action group 350 Eurobodalla