The Greens are urging the Albanese Government to stop approving new mines and developments in threatened species habitat to halt extinction and to establish a ‘climate trigger’ to assess the emissions of polluting projects.
The Greens’ push coincides with the long-awaited release of the State of the Environment Report.
Greens Environment Spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said:
“This Report is a devastating assessment of the state of Australia’s environment. It shows a litany of environmental wreckage fuelled by climate change and years of denial and neglect.
“Minister Plibersek faces a real test this week - halt extinction and start to address the impact of the climate crisis on our wildlife and natural environment or continue the neglect.
“If the Minister is really alarmed by this report, then she will take immediate action to ensure no more critical habitat is cleared and polluting projects that are fuelling the climate crisis are stopped.
“We already know our environment is in a devastating and rapid decline. Australia is outstripping the rest of the world when it comes to species loss and extinction.
“Our environment laws are broken and yet despite an increasingly desperate need to take climate action, these laws don’t even assess polluting projects for their emissions and the impact of these emissions on the environment.
“It’s a furphy to say environmental assessment is rigorous when it doesn’t include any consideration of the climate impacts or of greenhouse gas pollution. We need environment laws that are fit for purpose - and that is, protecting our environment, not simply green-lighting projects for miners and big developers.
“The Government should stop approving projects that destroy critical habitat and insert a climate trigger into our environment laws.
"These actions will be defining for the future of our precious wildlife like the koala, the greater glider and the Masked Owl.
“The Greens will be making these actions a priority when Parliament resumes in just over a week.
“After a decade, not just of neglect but of legalised environmental destruction which has driven our wildlife to extinction and our iconic places to the brink, there isn’t time to waste. The Albanese Labor Government must get down to business with proper environment-saving measures immediately.
“Approving new projects when the environment is in its current state will be wilful neglect and no better than the last mob.”