Labor and Green at the Crossroads of Environmental Protection Mechanisms

An attempt by the Australian Green Party to force the Labor Federal Government to halt new coal or gas projects has left the two parties at a crossroads.

After the Liberals and Nationals said they would oppose, Labor is now in talks to push forward the Safeguard Mechanism bill, giving control of the bill to the Greens and Green Senators.

The Safeguard Mechanism Reform Bill, which the government is about to pass in the Senate, gives Australia’s largest greenhouse gas emitter powers to the federal government to keep its net emissions below the baseline emissions limit set by the government. Thing.

The Greens said Wednesday they would pass legislation if the federal government promised not to allow new coal and gas projects in Australia.

But Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen is adamant that the federal government will not ban new coal and gas projects.

Bowen is responsible for negotiating safeguard mechanisms.

‘We don’t do that,’ said Bowen ABC Radio National Breakfast thursday program.

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Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen speaks to the media during a press conference in the Mural Hall of the Houses of Parliament, Canberra, Australia, 23 June 2021. (Sam Mooy/Getty Images)

Mr Bowen said the reform of the safeguard mechanism advocated by Labor was “a big deal”.

“We will need 205 million tonnes of emissions to get out of the system by 2030. This is no small thing. It covers 28% of our emissions,” he said. He said.

“We can’t cut emissions. We can’t reach our targets unless we address our biggest emitters. is.”

Meanwhile, Environment Minister Tanya Privisek said: Said It came as a shock to the Greens to consider not voting for reform at parliament on February 14, given that the Green party’s voting base wants reform.

“I think Green voters will be really shocked to see Green MPs sitting next to Peter Dutton and Barnaby Joyce, preparing to vote against action on climate change. ,” said Pribisek. “They would be shocked if the Greens, along with the Liberals and Nationals, voted against the safeguard mechanism.”

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Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek speaks at a stand-up at the Press Gallery at the Houses of Parliament in Canberra, Australia, 24 March 2021. (Sam Mooy/Getty Images)

Coal and gas offer offers, not ultimatums

Green Party leader Adam Band said on Thursday that the Greens’ new coal and gas ban was a formal proposal and “not an ultimatum”, but Labor has not balanced power in the Senate. The Greens had already compromised on various issues and had to adjust their positions.

“We presented a proposal, not an ultimatum,” said Bandt. told Radio National.

“We are ready to do a lot, but I think things have changed on this issue of opening new coal and gas mines.

“I think this is a proposal that people will accept. Everyone needs to move a little bit for this to pass the Senate.”

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New Green Party leader Adam Bandt speaks to the media in Canberra, Australia, 4 February 2020. (Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images)

The band also took aim at Labor, noting that in the last election the party lost a percentage of its primaries to independents who were campaigning on environmental platforms. He pointed out that Labor’s Justin Elliott, Tanya Privasek and Josh Burns will be in a tough spot with voters if the government doesn’t pass reform bills.

On Wednesday, Bandt said in a media release that the Greens had major concerns about other parts of the scheme, such as the rampant offsetting and low emissions reduction targets, but set those concerns aside and gave Labor’s scheme a chance. Said it was ready. .

“If Labor’s plan fails, it will be because they are trying to open new coal and gas mines. Workers have to decide how many new coal and gas mines they need. not.

Greens criticized for previous actions on climate law

It’s not the first time Australia’s Greens and Labor have clashed over emissions legislation, with former Australian Prime Minister and Labor tycoon Paul Keating accusing the Greens of being “enemies of labor” on climate issues. ing.

“The Greens are proud of what they claim to be their environmental credentials,” said Keating. Sydney Morning Herald and The Agebut he also noted that he had voted against previous Labor Party attempts to address carbon emissions in 2009.

“This is the same organization that omnipotently destroyed Kevin Rudd’s plan to reduce carbon pollution, led the country into a decades-long political quagmire on climate, and endangered and degraded the population and the land of the nation.” he said. .