Threatened Great Barrier Reef: Australia is struggling with climate change – stricter laws and green tech should help / Photo: Yanguang Llan via Unsplash[/caption]
“Down under” is very worried about climate change – and not only fears the future of the world-famous natural wonder “Great Barrier Reef”.
Now the House of Representatives in Australia has passed a climate law for the first time in the country’s history.
After several amendments, the bill was passed by a vote of 89 to 55 on Thursday in the capital Canberra.
The Labor government that took office in May wants to enshrine its plans in the fight against climate change – in particular a reduction in CO2 emissions by 43 percent by 2030 – in national law. The law will be presented to the second chamber of parliament, the Senate, in mid-September.
The climate law is an important milestone for the country, which has been particularly hard hit by climate change. There have been severe floods several times this year. Bushfires could also increase further in connection with higher temperatures and longer dry periods.
After the vote in parliament, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese spoke of “fulfilling a core promise” that his party had made to voters. Scott Morrison’s previous conservative government was heavily criticized for its hesitant stance on climate policy.
Climate experts criticized coal mining
However, Albanese also recently said in an interview with the broadcaster ABC that he did not want to stop the coal mining criticized by climate experts so as not to burden the economy.
Until recently, it was unclear whether the Greens would support the law. In weeks of negotiations, the party initially pushed for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 75 percent, which Labor rejected. Only on Wednesday evening did Green Party leader Adam Bandt finally pledge his party’s support.
“Say goodbye to the Great Barrier Reef…”
Bandt explained on Thursday that it remains important to act as quickly as possible: “I
we will have to say goodbye to the Great Barrier Reef and parts of Australia may become uninhabitable if we do get out,” he warned.
Independent politicians also emphasized that the emission targets should be understood as a minimum with plenty of room for improvement.