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New Australia Law Requires Huge Emissions Reduction

Australia, still massively reliant on coal for energy production, just took its most significant step in years in addressing the climate crisis, reports the Washington Post.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese | Wikipedia

Australia - one of the world's biggest emitters per capita - has long been considered a climate policy laggard. But thanks to the election of a green-centric national government in May last year, Australia's efforts at decarbonising its industries is picking up the pace.

Now, the country’s parliament has passed an emissions reduction bill that would require the highest-emitting industrial facilities to reduce their emissions by around 30 percent by 2030. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said, “After a wasted decade, today is a great day for action on climate change.”

The result of these emissions reductions are estimated to be equivalent to taking two-thirds of all the cars in the country off the road, according to the country’s minister of climate change.

Why is this good news? Coal and climate change have been touchy subjects for decades in Australia, which is the world’s second-largest exporter of coal, and largest of liquefied natural gas. Climate policy had long been weaponized politically, so this legislation marks a major new paradigm for the nation.

And it was driven largely by a shift in public opinion (and by extension, voting patterns), in the aftermath of increasingly frequent and intense natural disasters.



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