Peers hear how Australia is stepping up action on climate change
Since the Australian election in May, Australia has stepped up action on climate change, introducing a new Climate Bill modelled on the UK’s Climate Change Act 2008, with a commitment to reduce emissions by at least 43% on 2005 levels by 2030.
On Tuesday 11 October Peers heard from Zali Steggall MP and Dr Helen Haines MP from the independent ‘teal’ group of legislators, whose collaborative efforts are credited with making climate change a pivotal issue during the Australian election earlier this year.
The ‘teal group’ of Independents ran on a strong climate platform in formerly safe Liberal Party seats and broadly reflect a voting base with conservative fiscal politics (blue is the colour of the centre-right Liberal party) combined with green views on climate.
Peers heard from Zali and Helen about the journey it has taken to push for a more collaborative, evidence-based government approach on climate change, and how after years of communities facing drought, bushfire and now floods in Australia, the public and business are strongly supportive of this renewed commitment to climate too.
As we have seen in the UK, there is hope that the new climate legislation will provide a framework of transparency and regular reporting, underpinned by climate science, that will be able to ride political storms more effectively and ensure progress against the targets continue whatever the distractions of the day may be.
Over the last two years Peers for the Planet Peers have exchanged learnings with Zali, Helen and colleagues on effective climate legislation and consensus building and we were delighted to host them for this discussion.