Left-wing Greens could influence governments to enable ‘disruptive’ policies: shadow environment minister

Australia’s Shadow Environment Minister has warned that the left-leaning Australian Green Party will put pressure on the centre-left Labor government to enforce tougher environmental laws, which could cost the economy.

The comments said Labor’s climate change bill is set to go to the House of Commons on Wednesday, requiring a Green party vote to pass the bill in the federal Senate.

Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen announced on Tuesday that the 43% emission reduction represents a floor, not a ceiling, before Green Party leader Adam Band said the agreed target for 2030 was only a minimum standard. It reflects the comments of

Liberal Tasmanian Senator Jonno Duniam, who is also shadow minister for the environment, fisheries and forestry, said Australia was “concerned that destructive policies could come into force if the Greens got their way as part of the deal. should,” he said.

“The government will rely on the Green Party to legislate many reforms,” ​​he told the Epoch Times.

“The Greens have made very clear their demands for environmental regulation, including banning certain key industries from coal mining to indigenous forestry.”

Epoch Times photo
Prime Minister Scott Morrison with Liberal Senator Eric Abets (left) at Pennicott Wilderness Journeys, Tasmania, before attending the Liberal Tasmanian Party’s 2020 State Council meeting in Hobart, Saturday, 7 November 2020 Prime Minister Peter Gatwain speaks to the media with Liberal Senator Johnno Dunium (right). (AAP Image/Chris Crear)

He added that instead of focusing only on the negative, governments “must recognize the positive elements of what is happening in the environment.”

“But more importantly, [the government] At a time when Australians need certainty more than ever, we must act to avoid needlessly damaging the economy and destroying jobs. “

New report fuels calls for more climate action

The Greens have set a target of 74% emission reductions by 2030, ending subsidies to major coal, oil and gas companies, moving Australia to 100% renewable energy and phasing out all coal-fired electricity in the country. A$25 billion (US$17.4 billion) for the rewiring of Australia’s grid by 2030.

The Green Party’s band leader said on 20 July that the party was “negotiating in good faith with the government”. He also urged Labor to “stop making claims about weakening targets and opening up more coal and gas”, adding that “don’t put out fires while you’re pouring petrol”.

“The State of the Environment Report and Pacific Island leaders are giving governments all the legitimacy they need to do more.”

The Environmental reportEnvironment Minister Tanya Plibersek made the announcement on July 19.

Great Barrier Reef by glass bottom boat
Seeing the Great Barrier Reef on a glass-bottom boat is a popular tourist activity. (Fred J. Eckert)

But Peter Ridd, a former professor at James Cook University and a member of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, argued that the report “is not a scientific document” and “contradicts the story they are telling.” We left out a lot of information.”

For example, the report claimed that Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is in decline, and the latest data show that the reef is indeed enjoying “record high coral cover,” Lidd argued.

“They’ll give you a little bit of bone here. But then they’ll take everything away somewhere else,” he told the Epoch Times on July 20.

“Australia’s environment is far superior to most other places on Earth.”

Risks of “bureaucratic” climate policy

The government report also called for “integrated environmental management” to integrate state and territory systems, global action to reduce carbon emissions, and the introduction of national environmental standards.

But Duniam told The Epoch Times that such environmental measures should not act as an extension of government.

“As a basic principle, administrative and regulatory changes, including data collection, should not be costly, nor should such processes become overly bureaucratic.”

Epoch Times photo
Party supporters attend the launch of Greens national campaign at Black Hops Brewery in Brisbane, Australia on May 16, 2022. (Photo by Dan Peredo/Getty Images)

In response to Privasec’s attacks on the previous government’s environmental response, Duniam defended the center-right coalition, saying they had spent more than $100 billion on environmental improvements.

A press release obtained by The Epoch Times on July 21 said, “During our tenure, Australia’s emissions have been reduced to levels 20% lower than in 2005 (the Paris Agreement baseline).” .

“This is the best performance of any year under the Rudd and Gillard governments, with Australian emissions more than 100 million tonnes lower than Labor’s own projections for the proposed impact of a carbon tax. ”

Labor governments are struggling to cope with soaring electricity and gas prices, while policymakers and business leaders are reluctant to support the development of coal and gas due to climate change.

The Epoch Times reached out to Bandt and Plibersek but did not hear back in time for publication.

Nina Nguyen


Nina Nguyen is a reporter based in Sydney. She covers Australian news with a focus on social, cultural and identity issues. She is fluent in Vietnamese. Please contact her at [email protected]