MPs who don’t support the government’s new climate change targets in parliament will be held accountable, the prime minister has warned.
Anthony Albanese has challenged every MP and senator to support upcoming climate change legislation that would lock in an emissions reduction of 43 per cent by 2030.
The bill is set to be introduced when the 47th parliament opens later this month.
While parties such as the Greens have advocated for the government to legislate higher targets, the prime minister stood by the 43 per cent figure.
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“We’ll put forward legislation before the parliament. Every member of the House and every member of the Senate should vote for it,” he told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday.
“If they don’t, they’ll be held accountable for it, but we’ll get on with the business regardless of that.”
The government will need the support of the 12 Greens plus one additional crossbench senator to pass legislation in the upper house in the new parliament, should the opposition not back a bill.
In his challenge to other parties to back the climate change legislation, Mr Albanese singled out the Greens, who voted down the former Labor government’s carbon pollution reduction scheme in 2009.
The move at the time, according to the prime minister, contributed to years of political division surrounding climate change action.
“If the Greens party haven’t learnt from what they did in 2009, that was something that led to a decade of inaction and delay and denial, then that will be a matter for them,” Mr Albanese said.
“We will have our position going forward and we’ve already changed our nationally determined contribution and we’ve submitted it to the United Nations framework convention on climate change.”
Greens leader Adam Bandt hit back at the prime minister’s remarks, calling the government’s climate target as weak.
“People want politicians to work together on something as important as climate and the Greens are up for that,” he said in a statement.
“But Labor’s ‘my way or the highway’ approach is the kind of hairy-chested politics the public has just rejected.”
The government’s legislation would also lock in net-zero emissions by 2050 and require the government to provide annual updates of how the targets are being met.
The legislation will be introduced during the first week of the new parliament.
The prime minister said he wanted to work alongside all parties in dealing with climate change and end the political stalemate over the issue.
“I don’t know what it takes to wake up people, whatever their side of the political spectrum, to the fact that we need to work together and stop the conflict and work in a way that delivers outcomes,” he said.
“I want to work with everyone of goodwill. I think I’ve shown that. But what I’m not about doing is revisiting the game-playing about figures plucked from the air.”