Updated Aug 4, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Australia passes landmark climate bill to cut emissions by 43% by 2030

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese speaks during the Garma Festival at Gulkula on July 30, 2022 in East Arnhem, Australia.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in northeast Arnhem Land in Australia's Northern Territory last week. Photo: Tamati Smith/Getty Images

Australia's House of Representatives has passed the federal government's bill by 89 votes to 55 to cut the country's emissions by 43% below 2005 levels by 2030.

Why it matters: The landmark bill enshrines into law the Labor government's election pledge for the world's driest inhabited continent, where fossil-fuel exports have been in high demand in recent years as Australians faced a series of climate-change related extreme weather events — from deadly wildfires to flooding.

The big picture: The bill was the first to be introduced into the Australian Parliament after it returned last week following the center-left Labor Party's election win in May, Al Jazeera notes.

  • Former Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his conservative Liberal-National coalition government were criticized for not doing enough to tackle climate change as it focused on fossil fuel exports.

Flashback: Morrison announced at last year's COP26 climate summit in Glasgow a 2050 goal of net zero carbon emissions, but rather than pledge to legislate the target he suggested relying on companies and consumers to lead the way in reductions, per CNBC.

Go deeper: Australian scientists sound alarm over Paris climate goals

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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