Speaking at the National Press Club in Canberra, Bandt said: “The Greens have improved a weak climate bill, but the fight to stop Labor opening new coal and gas mines continues.
“People need to be clear-eyed about the importance of this bill and that this government is bringing a bucket of water to a house fire.
“Worse, even this smallest of steps on the road to tackling the climate emergency could be wiped out by just one of the 114 new coal and gas projects in the government’s investment pipeline.
“The fight begins now to get Labor to stop opening coal and gas mines.”
The bill updates Australia’s obligations under the Paris Agreement – committing to a 43 per cent emissions reduction by 2030 and net zero by 2050.
It hands authority back to the Climate Change Authority to monitor Australia’s progress, and also requires the Minister for Climate Change, Chris Bowen, to report annually to Parliament on Australia’s progress towards these targets.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said he is “very confident” the bill will pass through the lower house following Bandt’s announcement.
“This is an opportunity to end the climate wars,” Albanese said.
He urged the Coalition to agree to the climate bill so the “whole of parliament can be on the right side of history.”
“If the Coalition decides to break with their rhetoric and actually come to the table and listen to the business community who are saying that what we need is investment certainty… investment in clean and cheap energy,” Albanese said.
Albanese also said the Coalition is “obsessed by nuclear reactors” but is ignoring “the biggest nuclear reactor of all” which he says is the sun.
“They are stuck in the past, they are frozen in time while the world warms around them,” he said.
“We will not be held hostage to that behaviour, we will continue to advance our agenda.”
On Tuesday, Opposition Leader Peter Dutton said the Coalition would push for a debate about pivoting to nuclear energy after deciding to vote against the government’s climate bill.
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The opposition said it was “high time” to have a debate about nuclear energy.
Dutton claimed nuclear energy could contribute to Australia’s energy security and reduce rising power prices.
Following today’s developments, Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen said today is a “good day for Australia”, the economy and “the future” as the government embarks on passing its climate bill.
“The climate wars may not be over, but they are certainly in retreat,” Bowen said.
Bowen echoed Albanese’s confidence that the bill will pass through the lower house after Greens leader Bandt confirmed the party would vote with Labor.
“We do not need this legislation to get on with the agenda but we wanted the legislation to send the message to the world that Australia is open to business when it comes to renewable energy,” he said.