Incomplete nature reforms leave our environment dangerously exposed

Climate Council

As a record mass bleaching event devastates the Great Barrier Reef, the Albanese Government has said the ‘cheque is in the mail’ on their promise to fix Australia’s national environment law and tackle the escalating climate crisis.

The Climate Council calls on Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to prioritise and urgently accelerate the full reforms to protect nature from climate disaster and deliver on his government’s own priorities.

Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie said: “The Albanese Government promised real action to cut climate pollution, a fair and fast transition to clean energy and industry, and an end to the extinction crisis. Fixing our national environment law is core to delivering on all these promises. The reforms required are clear, the government needs to get on with it.”

“Glaciers are literally melting while this reform inches forward at a glacial pace. Climate pollution from burning coal and gas is wreaking massive harm on our environment—the Great Barrier Reef has suffered through an underwater Black Summer– and every day without action is a missed opportunity to protect the natural environment we all depend on for safe and healthy lives.”

More than 7.7 million hectares of threatened species habitat have been cleared since the environmental law came into effect, and 1,918 species are now under threat, with more than half of those at risk of extinction. More than 740 fossil fuel projects have also been waved through under the current Act, despite their direct role in fuelling harmful climate change.

The urgency of protecting nature from climate change has been the clearest and most consistent feedback provided to the government through the closed-door consultation process. For months, the Climate Council has been providing practical and direct advice to the Albanese Government on how to embed climate into the law to protect nature from this urgent threat.

“Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek now need to get on with it and do their jobs by protecting nature from climate change. They must commit to getting this crucial reform done before the end of 2024 and put the whole package of reforms to Parliament – including strong protections for climate – as soon as possible,” said Amanda McKenzie.

About us:

The Climate Council is Australia’s leading community-funded climate change communications organisation. We provide authoritative, expert and evidence-based advice on climate change to journalists, policymakers, and the wider Australian community.

/Public Release.