A business group representing the bosses of mining, retail, manufacturing, banking and energy has officially endorsed climate change laws proposed by independent lawmakers Steggall Hall, said Australia needed to set a net zero emissions target for 2050 and lay a path to achieve it.
That Australian Business Council used parliamentary submissions to say that Steggall’s plan proposes a “science-based, risk management” approach that aligns with how businesses and their shareholders increasingly respond to climate change.
Steggall’s private members bill, announced last February before being postponed due to Covid-19, is now in focus parliamentary inquiry, including a net zero target by 2050 and would require the government to establish a revolving emission budget to meet it.
It will also introduce risk assessments and adaptation plans, establish an independent climate change commission and engage governments technology investment roadmap.
The business council filing, signed by chief executive Jennifer Westacott, said it supports “strong action” on climate change, which requires “setting a national target of net zero-emissions by 2050 and, crucially, outlining a path to achieving this goal”.
“The high-level policy framework outlined in the proposed legislation is an important starting point for the development of a clearly defined, nationally guided and coordinated climate policy response,” wrote Westacott.
He said clearly articulated climate policy goals and a pathway to get there would be good for society as it would lead to new job opportunities, greater economic resilience in the Australian region, a stronger competitive position internationally and sustainable growth in productivity and real income. .
More than 100 countries has set carbon neutrality or net-zero emissions targets, but the Morrison government continues to refuse to set a time frame.
It hopes the country will achieve this goal in the second half of this century and wants to achieve it “as quickly as possible”. But the minister for emissions reductions, Angus Taylor said ABC by November reaching net-zero by 2050 will require a 43% cut (compared to 2005) by 2030 and “it will destroy jobs, which will require taxes, which will impose costs on Australian energy consumers and raise electricity prices”.
The government is expected to face increasing pressure to reverse its stance and set a more ambitious 2030 commitment before the next major climate conference in Glasgow in November.
The new US president, Joe Biden, has pledged to use “every tool of American foreign policy to encourage the rest of the world” to do more. Its climate envoy, John Kerry, last week said all countries have to increase ambition before the Glasgow summit “or we will all fail”. “Failure is not an option,” he said.
Kerry and Taylor spoke this week, reportedly agreeing “on the need to increase international collaboration on technology R&D to reduce the cost of new technology”.
Steggall’s statute was supported by several other waders and the Greens. Labor has yet to clarify its position, saying that it welcomes “any constructive action” on the climate and will continue to engage with the independent, which won the Warringah seat in Sydney from former prime minister Tony Abbott in 2019.
The government’s rejection of the bill makes it unlikely to be debated in parliament, but the bill has win support from more than 100 businesses and organizations including the Australian Industry Group, the Australian Medical Association, the Small Business Organization Council, Unilever, Tesla and Origin Energy.
The business council filing said there were elements of the bill that it believed required “careful interpretation” if they were to be consistent with “efficient, least expensive” climate policies. They include not emphasizing “sectoral policies” – taking different approaches to dealing with, for example, electricity, industry and transportation – in a way that would override policies that can work consistently across the economy.
In another filing posted online this week, the Australian Law Council said it did not officially endorse the Steggall bill because more needs to be done to recognize the multigenerational impacts of climate change, but if the law is changed it has “the potential to transform Australia. approaches to fighting climate change and its impact on our environment and society ”.
Steggall said the submission shows there is widespread support for a plausible climate plan as the world moves towards net zero emissions. “Ignoring this and delaying significant emission reductions will only add to costs and increase risk to our communities,” he said.
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