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Speech on Climate Trigger Bill

On Monday 5 September 2022, I made a speech in Federal Parliament on the Greens' Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Climate Trigger) Bill 2022, which would force the government to consider the emissions impacts of projects before approval. You can watch the speech here or read the full transcript below.

E WATSON-BROWN: I second this bill. We are at one of the most critical crossroads in our nation's history. We in this parliament have the opportunity to make the right decisions for our future, for the future of our children and grandchildren. Our current Prime Minister said 17 years ago that it was time to act on a climate trigger bill. Tragically, since then, the profits of coal and gas corporations have been put ahead of climate action, and the urgency of our situation has multiplied exponentially.

We are already living the catastrophes caused by climate inaction. We knew then what we needed to do, and we didn't do it. That is why there are now so many new faces in this Houseā€”to act. No more time for procrastination, as Mr Albanese said then. Now, Mr Albanese is in the position to act. We know our biggest contribution to climate change is the burning of coal and gas. We know there are 114 new coal and gas projects in the pipeline. And we know that, even if a handful of these projects go ahead, we can kiss goodbye to any hope of ever meeting the known targets to keep global warming under 1.5 degrees. We know that going above 1.5 degrees of heating means wholesale catastrophe and an uninhabitable, unimaginable world for all our grandchildren. These are facts.

How could any one of us in this House with any conscience, with any sense of responsibility, allow this? How can we sit here, when we have the collective power to do something, and not do it? This bill does something. With the two threshold triggers and the alternative approval prohibitions, it will finally put a safe future for all of us ahead of coal and gas profits.

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