43 per cent greenhouse gas target now law in Australia
Image credit: Steven Wei | Unsplash
Australia’s parliament has enshrined in law the government’s elevated target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 43 per cent below 2005 levels by the end of the decade.
The Senate passed legislation supporting the target in a vote of 37 to 30, despite several senators who supported it wanting a more ambitious 2030 target.
The centre-left Labour Party government officially committed Australia to the 43 per cent target after it came to power for the first time in nine years at elections in May. Entrenching this goal in law has made it more difficult for any future government to reduce the target.
Climate change and energy minister Chris Bowen said the Senate vote provided certainty to clean energy investors while strengthening transparency and accountability in Australia’s carbon reduction processes.
“The message to investors is that Australia is open for business,” Bowen told parliament.
The conservative opposition party voted against the Bill. The opposition has advocated a markedly less ambitious target of reducing emissions by between 26 per cent and 28 per cent since 2015.
Independent senator David Pocock insisted on several amendments touching on transparency and accountability before he supported the Bill.
These were soon passed by the House of Representatives, where the government holds a majority. The government holds some 26 of the 76 Senate seats.
Greens party senators supported the 43 per cent ambition, although their proposed amendments to increase the target to at least 75 per cent and ban future Australian coal and gas projects were defeated.
Australia's remote location and the huge island's extremes of temperature and terrain has seen the country embrace a range of future technologies to help with its economy and future development.
In July this year, it was announced that a new battery facility will be developed to deliver world-first inertia services and help stabilise the South Australian grid.
To help counter the effects of climate change, engineers from the University of South Australia have proposed a new permeable pavement design to help mitigate the impact of flood disasters in the country, following Australia’s worst floods on record earlier this year in which 23 people died and thousands were left homeless.
Given Australia's significant presence in the global mining industry, it was appropriate that an Australian mining firm announced the development of a gravity-charging, zero-emission, battery-charged ‘Infinity Train’.
The regenerating battery-electric iron-ore train will use gravitational energy to recharge its battery electric systems without any additional charging requirements for the return trip to reload.
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