Updated: Mar 18, 2020
In light of recent developments affecting us all, the Peoples Climate Assembly has cancelled Line The Streets for #ClimateActNow: 23 March. The health and safety of our community is our top priority.The coronavirus (Covid-19) is here, it’s dangerous, and mass public gatherings increase the risk of spreading it. We are listening to the science on this to ensure we protect the more vulnerable people within our community.
Zali Steggall has announced that she will also delay the introduction of her Bill to a later date.This is not an end to our action however, we see it is an opportunity to further build momentum and get more creative in how we put the pressure on our government.Even though step four in the campaign is cancelled, steps one, two and three are still very much active, so please continue to share the petition, write to your MP and other decision makers in government and rally your community (virtually)!There is plenty we can still do to continue to build support for this Bill whilst also looking after our community in this uncertain time.Thank you for your support so far and stay safe. Support Steggall’s appeal directly to voters to contact MPs to secure support for the Bill, and through the Climate Act Now petition.
The Bill calls for a bipartisan approach to safeguard Australia’s future against the impacts of climate change. Developed by a Parliamentary cross-bench group, working with climate action organisations, it includes proposals for:
· a net zero emissions target by 2050
· a carbon emissions budget
· assessments every five years for all sectors of national climate change risk
· transparent monitoring, reporting and accountability through a climate change authority to report on progress each year and advise Parliament
THE BILL AND XR
XR considers that the 2050 target is too late and calls for greater action now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025. But with the Government unwilling to take any meaningful action after the catastrophic summer Australia has faced, XR is committed to supporting EVERY move in the right direction. Action may well be accelerated if/when the Bill gains bipartisan support and passes to legislation. This would require ongoing action from XR, especially through the 5-year assessment process where targets could be adjusted in the right direction.
AUSTRALIA’S CLIMATE POLICY PARALYSIS
The Bill faces an uphill battle with PM Scott Morrison recently declaring that he would not be “bullied” into more action on climate change, and with the Government’s party room at war over climate policy. The main strength of the Bill is its non-partisan nature and potential for side-stepping inadequate climate politics with reasoned, apolitical, tried and tested policy solutions. It will allow individual MPs to speak for their communities rather than toe a party line.
Labor’s deputy leader, Richard Marles, has stated that the Opposition Is keen to work with the Government on a bipartisan climate policy. And support from business has sent a strong message. The Australian Energy Council, representing major electricity and gas businesses, sees the Bill as a workable framework with potential to move the country beyond the climate policy impasse as a clear path forward for the energy industry and the Australian economy. The Business Council of Australia is backing the Bill to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and “end Australia’s toxic climate decade”. Likewise, the Australian Industry Group prioritises “charting a course for Australia to net zero emissions by 2050 … backed up by a policy suite that also preserves industry competitiveness and social equity”.