Queensland Introduces Bill to Set 75 Percent Emissions Reduction Target Into Law

The government said the bill will ‘protect Queensland communities’ and ’mitigate the impacts of climate change.’
Queensland Introduces Bill to Set 75 Percent Emissions Reduction Target Into Law
Wind turbines can be seen in Albany, Western Australia, on Jan. 18, 2024. (Susan Mortimer/The Epoch Times)
Monica O’Shea

Queensland Premier Steven Miles has introduced legislation into the state’s Parliament to cut climate change emissions by 75 percent.

The bill sets out emissions reduction targets in Queensland and also commits the minister to making 2040 and 2045 targets in the future.

Mr. Miles, who was sworn into the top job in December, presented the Clean Economy Jobs Bill 2024 to the Parliament (pdf) on Feb. 14.

The premier said he first became interested in climate change in 2007 when his wife Kim was expecting their son, Sam.

“Now, as the state’s premier, I think it is important to protect not just my children’s future but the future of all Queenslanders,” he said.

“Queensland is already the most disaster-affected state. We have experienced more than 100 disasters since 2011. They are the kinds of disasters that we know will be more regular and more intense as average temperatures increase.”

An explanatory note on the bill states the legislation aims to “support jobs and secure Queensland’s economic future by enshrining the state’s emission reduction commitments into law.”

The bill (pdf) sets out emissions reduction targets for Queensland of 75 percent below 2005 levels by June 30, 2035, as well as 30 percent below 2005 levels by June 30, 2030. In 2050, the law sets an emissions reduction target of zero.

“The Clean Economy Jobs Bill 2024 sets a clear emissions reduction target of 75 percent on 2005 levels by 2035—a responsible, credible, and critical target on the path to net zero emissions by 2050,” Mr. Miles said.

“The 75 by 35 emissions reduction target positions Queensland as a world leader on the pathway to net zero—a target that continues Queensland’s record of having reduced more tonnes of emissions than any other state or territory.”

In addition, the bill states that the minister must decide a target for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions in Queensland for 2040, along with a target for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions in Queensland for 2045.

“The minister must decide the 2040 interim target by Dec. 31, 2030, and the 2045 interim target by Dec. 31, 2035,” the bill says.

Reaction from Political Opponents

The Queensland opposition Liberal National Party has yet to announce an official position on the legislation, according to media reports, as leader David Crisafulli continues focussing on youth crime issues.

In response to the announcement, One Nation Australia, however, raised concerns the policy would drive up electricity prices.

“Don’t look now but Queensland Labor has just announced their new policy to drive up electricity prices, drive away industry, destroy jobs, and make the cost of living crisis worse,” the party said in a post to X.

James Ashby, One Nation’s candidate for Keppel at the state election, said, “Be upfront Miles, are you planning on ruining our beaches and reefs, our farmers, or both?”

Mr. Ashby drew on a Victorian Legislative Council report that said meeting net zero targets with renewables could result in 70 percent of Victoria’s agricultural land being repurposed for wind turbines and solar farms.

“So why don’t you tell the people how much of Queensland’s land and sea you are planning to deface for your climate alarmist agenda,” Mr. Ashby said on X.
A Queensland state election is due to be held on Oct. 26, 2024. By-elections will also be held in the seats of Ipswich West and Inala on March 16, 2024.

Demonstrating ‘Queensland’s environmental, social and governance credentials’: government

Explanatory notes on the Clean Economy jobs Bill 2024 state the legislation will help attract investment to Queensland and decarbonise the state’s existing industries.

The Queensland government said achieving the 75 percent emissions target is dependent on the state and federal governments working together.

The government said (pdf) legislating the state’s credible targets would “send an important signal to investors and demonstrate Queensland’s environmental, social and governance credentials.”

“Policy certainty will enable businesses and communities to make effective plans to secure their economic futures.

“It will enable industry to invest in innovation and new technologies in sectors like agriculture, resources, and manufacturing as well as leveraging Queensland’s world-leading solar and wind resources, new economy minerals, and proven workforce capability.”

The government said the bill will “protect Queensland communities” and “mitigate the impacts of climate change,” including for “Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”

“Coordinated and early climate action will support the creation of more job opportunities in Queensland’s emerging clean economy industries like hydrogen, critical metals and minerals, and advanced manufacturing, especially in Queensland’s regions. It will help to support jobs in existing industries by ensuring they remain competitive and meet market expectations in a decarbonising world.”

Australian Institute for Progress executive director, Graham Young, said, “As Anthony Albanese has just demonstrated, it’s easy to legislate, and it’s almost as easy to repeal. Which is just as well as they will never meet these targets in this time frame,” in a post to X.
Monica O’Shea is a reporter based in Australia. She previously worked as a reporter for Motley Fool Australia, Daily Mail Australia, and Fairfax Regional Media.
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