The Greens are set to introduce “climate trigger” legislation to the Senate on Monday, that would force the government to assess the impact of emissions from future coal and gas projects on climate change.
It comes as the Albanese Government negotiates with the crossbench to pass its climate change bill that would legislate a 43 per cent emissions reduction target. The government needs the support of the Greens and one independent, most likely David Pocock, to pass the bill in the senate.
The Greens are pushing for a “climate trigger” which would see the environment minister having to assess the impact of emissions from polluting projects before they can be approved.
The Greens are pushing for this as the government’s climate change bill leaves room for the approval of new coal and gas projects.
Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said much more needs to be done to dramatically reduce pollution and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.
“Putting a ‘climate trigger’ in law will force corporations to be honest about how much pollution their new projects and mines will create, and force the Minister to consider the climate impacts before giving any environmental approval,” Hanson-Young said on Monday .
“Current environment laws are not fit for purpose. It makes no sense that an application for a new mine or development is not assessed for the impact the project’s emissions will have on the climate.
“Any suggestion a project can “stack up environmentally” justifying the Environment Minister giving it the green light is a complete furphy.”
Hanson-Young said she thinks the government’s climate bill is “largely symbolic” because it doesn’t legislate for the actual action needed to reduce emissions.
“Stopping new coal and gas is a must if humanity is going to have any chance of survival,” she said.
“A climate trigger will go a long way to stopping dirty fossil fuel projects if they make the climate crisis worse.”
Senator David Pocock, who holds one of the most influential votes in the senate, has also called for a “climate trigger” to be legislated.
Climate Change minister Chris Bowen has been consulting widely with the crossbench on the government’s climate bill and says the government is open to suggestions to improve it.