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LEAN response to draft Platform 2020

Gas stays in ALP's pumped up climate plans


15 December 2020
By Rebecca Gredley

Labor appears unprepared to walk away from supporting new fossil fuel projects but plans to recommit to stronger environmental protection laws.

The federal opposition is set to finalise its platform at a national conference next year, set to be held online over March 30 and 31.

Labor's Environment Action Network is unhappy the broader party won't rule out helping new fossil fuel projects in its draft policy, declaring it is considering how to "approach these challenges".

"Disappointingly, the commitments on gas do not acknowledge the greenhouse impacts of gas and overtly support the development of new gas projects - a position LEAN does not endorse," the party's environment arm said in an email on Tuesday seen by AAP.

"Our amendment to commit to no public subsidy for new fossil fuel projects and infrastructure was not adopted."

But LEAN is cheering that the party has re-committed to its plan under former leader Bill Shorten to create an independent Environment Protection Authority to be a "strong cop on the beat".

The party has also expressed a commitment to reform environmental laws to ensure species decline is stopped and habitats are protected.

The federal opposition dropped all its policies in the wake of its bruising 2019 election loss and have begun to flesh out a new list of priorities under leader Anthony Albanese.

Labor will adopt interim emissions reduction targets as a stepping stone to net zero by 2050, but specific goals have not been set.

"Real ambition will be defined with targets for 2030 or 2035 that reflect what will be necessary for Australia in the race to arrest the impacts of a changing climate.

"LEAN will continue to argue that climate action is core Labor business and acting to arrest climate change can create good jobs and futures for Australia."

Climate and energy policy remains a contentious issue in the party, with NSW-based MP Joel Fitzgibbon recently choosing to demote himself to protest the party's direction which he deemed too progressive.

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