Monday, June 24, 2024

NSW introduces landmark climate Bill

The NSW Government has introduced its landmark Climate Change Bill, which is set to enshrine emissions reduction targets law in the State and establish an independent Net Zero Commission.

The Climate Change (Net Zero Future) Bill 2023 commits the State to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050, said NSW Premier, Chris Minns.

“The people of NSW expect their government to act on climate change and power bills,” said the Premier.

“That’s why we’re delivering on our election promises to legislate emissions reduction targets and set up the independent Net Zero Commission.

“Enshrining targets in law shows the NSW Labor Government is serious about reaping the benefits of driving down emissions and moving to more affordable, renewable energy.

“NSW is driving down emissions while putting downward pressure on power bills.”

The Bill commits NSW to making its contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and its contribution to keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees.

“These laws are a down payment on securing the future for the people of NSW. Climate change is already costing NSW through more frequent and more extreme weather events, droughts, floods and other disasters,” said Minister for Climate Change, Energy and the Environment, Penny Sharpe.

“Legislating 2030 and 2050 targets and creating an independent Net Zero Commission fulfils a commitment to the people of NSW that the government will take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and continue the renewable transformation of our energy system.”

Premier Minns said the legislated 2030 and 2050 targets were essential to NSW seizing the enormous economic benefit of the transition to renewable energy, which will attract tens of billions of dollars in private investment, put downward pressure on power bills for households and businesses and generate thousands of jobs, most of them in regional areas.

“To achieve the targets, the NSW Government is already taking strong action by investing $1.8 billion in renewable energy infrastructure, transmission and storage through the Transmission Acceleration Facility and Energy Security Corporation,” said Mr Minns.

The NSW Government is also creating a new stand-alone Department for Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Water, and investing in the circular economy to drive down emissions from waste.

In addition to setting robust emissions reduction targets, the Climate Change (Net Zero Future) Bill 2023 will:

  • Establish the Net Zero Commission – a strong, independent, expert body to monitor the state’s progress to net zero. It will report annually to ensure parliamentary transparency and accountability;
  • Put in place guiding principles for action to address climate change;
  • Set an objective to make NSW more resilient to our changing climate;
  • The NSW Government and Net Zero Commission will liaise with the state’s diverse regions and communities to ensure climate action is community-led, informed, fair and transparent.

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