Queensland Locks in 75 Percent Emissions Reduction Target by 2035

The government is also hoping 80 percent of the energy grid will come from renewable sources by 2035.
Queensland Locks in 75 Percent Emissions Reduction Target by 2035
Solar panels are seen on a roof in Albany, Western Australia, on March 29, 2024. (Susan Mortimer/The Epoch Times)
Monica O’Shea

The Miles Labor government has passed legislation entrenching a 75 percent cut to climate change emissions by 2035.

The legislation also locks in 80 percent renewable energy generation by 2035, and 50 percent by 2030.

Liberal-National Party parliamentarians backed the climate emissions targets, but not legislating them.

“Three renewable energy targets of 50 percent renewable energy by 2030, 70 percent by 2032, and 80 percent by 2035 have been locked in,” the government said in a statement, after the Clean Economy Jobs Act 2024 and  Energy (Renewable Transformation and Jobs) Act 2024 passed on April 18.
“The move is complemented by strong action on emissions reductions—with laws passed today to legislate emissions reduction targets of 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, 75 percent below by 2035, and net zero by 2050.”

Opposition Raises Concerns About Cost for Average Families

The opposition raised concerns about electricity bill costs.
“The shift to a cleaner economy is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to bring jobs, long-term industries and new wealth to Queensland,” said Shadow Environment Minister Sam O'Connor in Parliament on April 17 (pdf).

“Putting aside the strong economic arguments for our position, I also recognise the threat of climate change to our environment and our state’s unique and precious biodiversity. We must do all we can to become more sustainable so Queenslanders for many generations to come can continue to enjoy the unrivalled natural beauty by which our state is defined.”

Mr. O'Connor said the LNP had “committed to achieving the end goal of net zero” for several years.

“To date, Queensland’s emissions have reduced by 29 percent on 2005 levels according to the latest data available from 2020-21. This gives the LNP confidence there is a pathway to reaching what this bill proposes,” he said.

Shadow Energy Minister Deb Frecklington spoke specifically on the Energy (Renewable Transformation and Jobs) Bill 2023.

“The Liberal National Party supports the targets, but we cannot support to legislate them when there is no credible pathway to achieve them,” Ms. Frecklington said.

“The risk that Labor’s plan poses to the energy bills of Queenslanders is far too great, and in Queensland’s cost-of-living crisis Queenslanders should not have to take that risk,” she added.

“The bill neglects to consider the extraordinary costs of the infrastructure proposed and its impact on taxpayers.”

Meanwhile, Opposition Leader David Crisafulli also did not back the federal Liberal-National party’s push for nuclear energy.

“Until both sides of Canberra agree, that will never happen because there won’t be investment,” he said.

‘Historic Day’, Government Says

The passage of the legislation on April 18 was a “historic day” in the Queensland parliament, the government said.

Premier Steven Miles said the government had an obligation to “secure the economic, social and environmental prosperity of this state.”

He said 100,000 new jobs will be created from the energy and jobs plan.

“Our vision for Queenslanders is to produce cheap, clean, reliable, renewable energy for them, their families and their businesses. Now, we get on with the job of delivering,” Mr. Miles said.

“We will build the renewable energy generation and transmission assets needed to power big industries in Gladstone, Mackay, Townsville and Mt Isa.”

Minister for Energy and Clean Energy Jobs Mick de Brenni added, “Today signals to the world that Queensland is serious about taking real action on climate change, while ensuring economic certainty and prosperity for communities across the state.

The Response

Meanwhile, One Nation leader Pauline Hanson accused the LNP of surrendering to the “cult of climate change.”
“This radical 75 percent target could easily see draconian restrictions on diesel fuel use—which is absolutely critical in the movement of goods around a state as enormous as Queensland, as well as for farming and mining—more rainforest cleared in northern areas to build forests of wind turbines, and more prime farmland covered in transmission lines and solar panels,” she said on X.

The Australian Conservation Foundation welcomed passage of the legislation, but flagged concerns with uncertainty around renewable energy targets ahead of an election.

“We congratulate the Miles government for significantly lifting climate ambition and action in Australia’s most polluting and fossil fuel dependent state,” the climate and energy program manager Gavan McFadzean said.

“We also congratulate state LNP Opposition Leader David Crisafulli for supporting the 75 percent by 2035 emissions reduction target, but we are frustrated by the LNP’s decision to vote against the bill that sets out the pathway to get there, including the new renewable energy targets.”

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.
Related Topics