NSW announces landmark climate change bill to establish Net Zero Commission

NSW commits to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent by 2030

NSW announces landmark climate change bill to establish Net Zero Commission

The New South Wales (NSW) government has introduced a landmark climate change bill to protect emissions reduction targets law in NSW and establish an independent Net Zero Commission.

The Climate Change (Net Zero Future) Bill 2023 is a legislative initiative to solidify the state's commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The bill outlines ambitious targets, with a pledge to cut emissions by a minimum of 50 per cent by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

The NSW government emphasised that the legislation is designed to offer certainty and opportunities for households, industries, and clean energy investors. The bill commits NSW to making its contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and its contribution to keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees.

The legislated 2030 and 2050 targets are essential to NSW capitalising on the economic benefits of transitioning to renewable energy. The government anticipates attracting substantial private investment, reducing power bills, and creating thousands of jobs, particularly in regional areas.

To achieve the targets, the NSW government has taken action by investing $1.8bn in renewable energy infrastructure, transmission and storage through the Transmission Acceleration Facility and Energy Security Corporation. The government has also established a new stand-alone Department for Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Water and invested in the circular economy to drive down emissions from waste.

The new climate change bills set robust emissions reduction targets and created the Net Zero Commission, an independent body that monitors the state's progress toward achieving net-zero emissions. The commission will provide annual reports to ensure transparency and accountability in parliamentary proceedings.

The bill also incorporates guiding principles for climate action, sets an objective to enhance NSW's resilience to climate change, and commits to engaging with diverse regions and communities to ensure climate action is community-led, informed, fair, and transparent.

NSW Premier Chris Minns said, "Enshrining targets in law shows the NSW Labor Government is serious about reaping the benefits of driving down emissions and moving to more affordable, renewable energy."

Minister for Climate Change, energy, and the Environment Penny Sharpe added, "Legislating 2030 and 2050 targets and creating an independent Net Zero Commission fulfils a commitment to the people of NSW that the government will take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and continue the renewable transformation of our energy system."

 

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