Canberra, Australia ( Associated Press) – Australia’s new government is putting climate change at the top of its legislative agenda when parliament sits down for the first time since the May 21 election with bills to cut greenhouse gas emissions and build electric cars. Is. cheaper, a minister said on Wednesday.
Climate change and energy minister Chris Bowen told the National Press Club that when parliament meets on 26 July, a bill will be introduced to reduce Australia’s emissions by 43% from 2005 levels by 2030.
Another bill would eliminate import duties and taxes for electric vehicles that are cheaper than the luxury car limit of 77,565 Australian dollars ($53,580).
The government said only 1.5% of cars sold in Australia are electric or plug-in hybrids, and passenger cars account for about 10% of the country’s emissions.
The new centre-left Labor Party government expects EVs to account for 89% of Australian new car sales by 2030.
75% of the government’s fleet will be converted to no-emission vehicles, which will strengthen the second-hand EV market as government vehicles are sold after three years.
The new government has already officially informed the United Nations of Australia’s more ambitious 2030 target than the previous conservative Liberal Party-led administration, a reduction of 28% from 26%.
But Bowen said legislating the 43% target would instill more confidence.
“It is about certainty and stability, primarily for the business investment community,” Bowen said.
“It sends a signal if Parliament doesn’t legislate that maybe the country is not serious. Maybe a future government, heaven forbid a liberal government, might just drive it back,” said Bowen. Told.
Opposition leader Peter Dutton has denied his Liberal Party senators get Labor targets through the upper house. Labor has only 26 seats in the 76-seat Senate, so it needs outside help to pass its legislative agenda.
If Labor could get all 12 senators from the Minor Greens party to support the goal, the government would only need to persuade one of the six remaining independent or unaffiliated legislators to reach a majority.
Greens leader Adam Bandt has said he will pressure the government to ban new coal mines and gas projects when the target legislation is negotiated. The Greens want Australian emissions to drop by 75% by 2030.
Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions rose 0.8% last year, or 4.1 million metric tons (4.5 million US tons).
Bowen described the increase as one of the biggest emissions spikes in 15 years and blamed the previous government’s inaction during the nine years in office.
Factors driving the increase include a 4% increase in transport emissions as pandemic travel restrictions were eased and 4.2% more agricultural emissions as drought years ended in rain over large areas of south-east Australia.