Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

A Bill for an Act to amend the Climate Change Authority Act 2011, and for related purposes
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Registered 02 Dec 2019
Introduced HR 02 Dec 2019

2019

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Climate Change Authority Amendment (Impact of 3 Degrees of Global Warming on Australia) Bill 2019

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

and

STATEMENT OF COMPATIBILITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Circulated by authority of

Adam Bandt MP


Climate Change Authority Amendment (Impact of 3 Degrees of Global Warming on Australia) Bill 2019

 

 

OUTLINE

 

The Morrison government’s climate change targets of a 26-28% reduction on 2005 emissions by 2030 are consistent with 3 degrees or more of global warming. This is inconsistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

 

Three degrees of global warming will be a disaster for Australia and the rest of the world, leading to widespread desertification, ocean acidification and sea level rise which will lead to mass starvation, dislocation and conflict. There is also a substantial risk that such a temperature rise will cross crucial cascading tipping points in the climate system, leading to further catastrophic warming and an existential threat to civilisation.

 

It is crucial that the Commonwealth and the Australian government is provided detailed and specific advice on the impacts on Australia of the 3 degrees of warming envisaged by the government’s current climate policy.

 

While there have been concerns regarding the adequacy and independence of recent advice provided by the Climate Change Authority, it is the appropriate government agency to provide such advice.

 

The Climate Change Authority was put in place by the power-sharing Parliament and the agreement between Labor, the Greens and Independents that delivered the Clean Energy Future Package.

 

The Climate Change Act 2011 established the Authority to provide independent, expert advice on climate change policy. The Authority is made up of a Chair, the Chief Scientist and up to seven other members supported by a Chief Executive Officer and staff.

 

The Authority plays a role in the governance of Australia's mitigation policies, undertaking reviews and making recommendations on the Carbon Farming Initiative and the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting System. Reviews are undertaken on other matters as requested by the Minister responsible for climate change or the Australian Parliament.

 

Since the Authority last provided its advice to Government on the policy toolkit required to meet the Paris Agreement, a number of developments have occurred in Australia and around the world in terms of climate change science, economics and policy.

 

The Authority is currently conducting a consultation on updated advice to government that will provide recommendations on actions that are needed to meet the current 2030 emissions target and that are consistent with meeting subsequent targets with enhanced ambition that put Australia on a path to net zero emissions, consistent with the Paris Agreement framework.

 

The Authority conducts and commissions its own independent research and analysis. All reviews will include public consultation and all reports will be published on the Authority's website as soon as practicable after they have been given to the Minister.

 

The Bill requires the Climate Change Authority to conduct a review on the impact on Australian society, economy and environment of three degrees of global warming which is the current level of warming that will result from targets currently adopted by the Commonwealth.

 

The result of the review must be provided to the Minister by July 1 2020 and published at the same time.

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT

 

The bill will have no financial impact.

 


 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

Clause 1: Short Title

This clause provides for the Act to be cited as the Climate Change Authority Amendment (Impact of 3 Degrees of Global Warming on Australia) Bill 2019.

 

Clause 2: Commencement

This clause provides for the whole of this Act to commence the day after it receives Royal Assent.

 

Schedule 1—Amendments


Amends the Climate Change Authority Act 2011

 

Item 1:

Inserts after section 59 a new section 59A (1) which requires the Climate Change Authority to conduct a review of the impacts on Australian society, the Australian economy and the Australian environment that would result from 3 degrees of global warming.

Section 59A (2) requires the review to be provided to the Minister by July 1 2020 and published on the Authority’s website.

 

Section 59A (3) – (9) reproduces the existing review provisions of Section 60 of the Climate Change Authority Act 2011 and sets out the Authority’s reporting obligations in relation to a Special Review.

 

 

 


 

STATEMENT OF COMPATIBILITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS

Prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011

 

Climate Change Authority Amendment (Impact of 3 Degrees of Global Warming on Australia) Bill 2019

This bill is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011.

 

Overview of the bill

The Morrison government’s climate change targets of a 26-28% reduction on 2005 emissions by 2030 is consistent with 3 degrees or more of global warming.

 

Three degrees of global warming will be a disaster for Australia and the rest of the world, leading to widespread desertification, ocean acidification and sea level rise which will lead to mass starvation, dislocation and conflict. There is also a substantial risk that such a temperature rise will cross crucial cascading tipping points in the climate system, leading to further catastrophic warming and an existential threat to civilisation.

 

It is crucial that the Commonwealth and the Australian government is provided detailed and specific advice on the impacts on Australia of the 3 degrees of warming envisaged by the government’s current climate policy.

 

The Bill requires the Climate Change Authority to conduct a review on the impact on Australian society, economy and environment of three degrees of global warming, which is the current level of warming that consistent with targets currently adopted by the Commonwealth.

 

The result of the review must be provided to the Minister by July 1 2020 and published at the same time.

 

Human rights implications

This bill does not engage any of the applicable rights or freedoms, other than to promote the safety and wellbeing of people by helping to ensure a safe climate.

 

Conclusion

This bill is compatible with human rights because it does not otherwise raise any human rights issues.

 

Adam Bandt MP