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NELA Submission – Climate Change (Net Zero Future) Bill 2023

NELA has welcomed the opportunity to provide a submission into the Climate Change (Net Zero Future) Bill 2023 (Bill) to the Portfolio Committee No 7 – Planning and Environment.

Given the Bill’s significance in legislating net zero targets for NSW and establishing the Net Zero Commission to advise the NSW Government on future climate action, the Bill is of particular importance to NELA’s members.

NELA sees the Bill can be more ambitious, and indeed, must be more ambitious if it is to adequately meet the challenge that is posed by climate change to the people and environment of NSW.

As NELA submits climate change is intrinsically linked to the biodiversity crisis, this submission draws this connection to the Committee’s attention by proposing key amendments to empower the Commission to galvanise efforts across the NSW Government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, strengthen NSW’s resilience to climate, and mitigate and respond to the loss or damage suffered by NSW people and communities due to climate change intersecting with biodiversity loss.

NELA’s recommendation are the following:

  1. The Bill must meaningfully operationalise climate change considerations across the NSW Government.
  2. The net zero targets enshrined in the Bill must be more ambitious and include interim targets.
  3. The Bill must recognise the intersecting nature of the climate and biodiversity crises.
  4. The Bill should recognise the necessity in responding to climate-related loss and damage that is already being suffered by people and communities in NSW as a result of a changing climate and empower the Commission to provide advice on this.
  5. The Net Zero Commission should be strengthened to ensure effectiveness and independence from political and financial interests.
  6. The Bill must seek to recognise and involve diverse perspectives in the exercise of the Commission’s functions.

Full submission found here.