Queensland votes yes for bold 75% cut to climate pollution

  • Queensland has legislated a 75% cut to greenhouse gas emissions and 80% renewable energy target by 2035
  • Australia needs to lift emissions reduction target to 90% to align with efforts to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C – a critical threshold for coral reefs
  • Queensland LNP supports emissions cut target, ending climate wars in state

The Queensland parliament today united on climate action to pass legislation to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 75% by 2035 with welcome support from both the Labor and Liberal National parties, although bipartisan support did not extend to legislating agreed renewable energy targets.

The new Queensland emissions reduction target is a huge increase on the previous 30% mark by 2030, and it is now up to the Australian Government to dramatically lift its emissions reduction target, the Australian Marine Conservation Society said today.

AMCS Great Barrier Reef Campaign Manager Dr Lissa Schindler said: “Climate change is the greatest threat to our oceans. It’s driving the increasingly frequent and more intense marine heatwaves that have caused five mass coral bleaching events on the Great Barrier Reef in just eight years.

“The Queensland Labor government today cemented its commitment to tackle climate change by legislating the 75% emissions reduction target and 80% renewable energy targets for 2035. This is a big step towards limiting global warming to 1.5°C especially for a heavily industrial state such as Queensland, and we congratulate the Miles government for this initiative.

“We welcome the Queensland LNP supporting the legislation of this target, showing action on climate can be progressed by all political parties for the good of the community, nature and the economy.

“Queensland today has taken a momentous leap forward in tackling climate change, with the Labor, Liberal National and Greens parties all backing the target on a unity ticket to help protect the Great Barrier Reef. The Reef is our greatest natural asset, home to thousands of species and powering a $6.4 billion tourism industry and supporting 64,000 jobs.

“The LNP supported the emissions reduction target, but it voted against the renewable energy target, which is key to ensuring Queensland can cut emissions by 75% in 10 years’ time. The LNP must show Queenslanders how it will deliver these urgently needed emissions cuts if it doesn’t support the current Jobs and Energy Plan. Queenslanders need assurance that the emissions cuts can be delivered.

“Right now the states are leading the way on climate targets. If a state with a significant resource sector such as Queensland can set an emissions reduction target of 75% by 2035, then the federal government can and must go higher.

“The Australian Government must lift its greenhouse gas reduction targets in line with keeping global warming to 1.5oC – a critical threshold for coral reefs. Australia’s current emissions reduction target of 43% by 2030 is consistent with a 2°C warming pathway, which equates to the loss of 99% of the world’s coral reefs.

“If Australia is serious about fulfilling its commitment to UNESCO to set more ambitious emission reduction targets in alignment with efforts to limit global temperature increase to 1.5°C, then we would expect at least a 90% emissions reduction target by 2035.”

“This is a critical decade in working to save the Great Barrier Reef.”

/Public Release. View in full here.