On Thursday, Australia passed climate laws that target the biggest polluters and will force coal mines, smelters and refineries to cut emissions by about 5% annually. “This is the first time that Australian law has mandated the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.”said Tommy Weidmann, a sustainability expert at the University of New South Wales.
These laws apply to around 215 large industrial facilities – each producing more than 100,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases annually – and form the backbone of Australia’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2050. By requiring these facilities to reduce their emissions by 4.9% annually, the government believes that It could prevent 200 million tons of carbon being released into the atmosphere over the next decade. “Obviously it’s a good thing. We now have a climate policy.”announced Tommy Weidman.
A decade of political controversy
The government said the plan would end a decade of political wrangling that has repeatedly frustrated attempts to tackle climate change. He reached an agreement on the guarantee mechanism after several weeks of difficult negotiations with the left-wing Green Party.
For Green Party leader Adam Bandt, this is the first time that the law stipulates that oil and gas groups must reduce their emissions. The Greens, previously skeptical whose support was needed to pass laws, agreed to back the carbon plan after convincing the government to cap emissions.