The NSW government has introduced a bill that enshrines in law the state’s emissions reduction targets – and that establishes an independent Net Zero Commission to help hit those targets.
Titled the Climate Change (Net Zero Future) Bill 2023, it supports the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 per cent by 2030, and a net zero target by 2050.
The NSW government says the 2030 and 2050 targets can attract tens of billions of dollars in private investment, reduce power bills for households and businesses, and create thousands of jobs. It hopes the new bill will assist the state’s transition to renewable energies and help its contribution to keeping global warming to 1.5°C.
NSW Premier Chris Minns says enshrining targets in law shows the government is serious about reaping the benefits of driving down emissions and moving to more affordable, renewable energy.
“We’re delivering on our election promises to legislate emissions reduction targets and set up the independent Net Zero Commission,” he says.
The Climate Change (Net Zero Future) Bill 2023 will:
- Establish the Net Zero Commission – an independent body that will monitor the state’s progress to net zero and report annually to ensure parliamentary transparency and accountability
- Put in place guiding principles for action to address climate change
- Set an objective to make NSW more resilient to the changing climate.
Minister for Climate Change, Energy and the Environment, Penny Sharpe, says NSW already feels the cost of climate change through more frequent and more extreme weather events, droughts, floods and other disasters.
“These laws are a down payment on securing the future for the people of NSW,” she says.
To achieve the targets, the NSW government is investing $1.8 billion in renewable energy infrastructure, transmission and storage through the Transmission Acceleration Facility and Energy Security Corporation. A new stand-alone Department for Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Water is also being created.