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Chris Bowen urges Greens to back emissions bill but again rules out ban on new fossil


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Australia’s climate minister, Chris Bowen, has again challenged the Greens to support the government’s reforms to the safeguard mechanism, but flat-out rejected the party’s calls to ban new coal and gas, saying fossil fuels would continue providing one-fifth of Australia’s energy beyond 2030.

However, the Greens leader, Adam Bandt, claims the party has already made major compromises by offering to pass Labor’s plan through the Senate, saying the party’s request for no new coal and gas was reasonable if the government wanted to address climate change concerns. It potentially sets up more protracted negotiations or Senate gridlock when parliament returns in March.

“All we’re asking for is the bare minimum. We’re not asking for the perfect,” Bandt said.

The government will require the support of either the Greens or the Coalition in the Senate to pass its safeguard mechanism plan, which would require Australia’s 215 biggest emitters to gradually reduce their emissions over time. Some environmental and climate experts, as well as the Greens and fellow Senate…

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