Greens leader Adam Bandt has just announced the party will begin “good faith negotiations with the government” in hopes Labor will “drop its insistence on having a weak target and opening more coal and gas.”
“As well as the weak target that means more fires and floods, the Greens are concerned that the bill as drafted is a barrier to government lifting the weak 43% targets,” Bandt said, noting the party doesn’t believe the bill is ‘Dutton-proof’ and sufficiently guards against the potential for future government’s to lower the targets.
The Greens want to see emissions reductions of 75% by 2030, while the independent ‘teal’ crossbench is aiming for 60%.
The new federal energy minister Chris Bowen has previously said he won’t be negotiating Labor’s policies, but the party’s position coming out of the May election could hardly be described as strong. Labor just managed to scrape into majority government and had the lowest primary vote in its history.
Meanwhile, independent candidates who campaigned primarily on stronger climate action managed to almost triple their presence in parliament, and the Greens had their best result on record.
The Greens now hold the balance of power in the Senate, giving the party some leverage entering into these negotiations.
In his acceptance speech, prime minister Anthony Albanese pledged to “end the climate wars” – a promise which appears to already be getting put to the test.
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