Submission: Draft Climate Change (State Action) Amendment Bill 2021

by Eloise Carr, Rachel Hay and Audrey Quicke

The Tasmanian Government’s proposals to strengthen the response to the climate crisis are a step in the right direction, but the proposed new law does not go far enough. The legislation still leaves Tasmania with rising emissions, reliant on carbon accounting to continue to achieve net zero emissions. Given Tasmania’s success in already reaching net-zero and 100% renewable energy, far more ambitious emission reduction targets than net zero by 2030 are warranted and achievable.

The proposed reforms improve the framework for sector-based emissions reductions, action plans and regular risk assessments, but represent a huge missed opportunity for global leadership and to bring much needed accountability in terms of deadlines, establishing an independent Climate Change Authority, and consequences for failing to achieve the commitments.

With its head start in renewable energy generation, Tasmania should now prioritise emissions reductions in high emitting sectors. Electrifying transport, buildings, and industry, as well as reducing residential and industrial gas use, and offsetting agricultural emissions will be key to Tasmania’s climate transformation.

  • The proposed legislation misses the opportunity to introduce sector-based emission reduction targets.
    • The submission calls for these to be legislated, including interim targets, excluding land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF), and for these to be determined within 12 months of the enactment of the Bill.
  • The proposed legislation requires the development of sector-based emission reduction and resilience plans, a state-wide action plan and regular risk assessments, but does not provide a timeframe for their preparation.
    • The submission calls for a deadline to be set for their development, such as within 12 months of the enactment of the Bill.
  • The Australia Institute Tasmania calls on the Tasmanian Government to make other changes to the proposed laws to strengthen the response to the climate crisis, including:
    • Guiding principles for climate action with additional principles of intergenerational equity and biodiversity protection;
    • Establish an independent Climate Change Authority and Parliamentary Standing Committee on climate change; and
    • Credible and material consequences for failing to meet the requirements of the legislation.

Full submission