While the US has seized global headlines with the passage of landmark climate legislation, Australia has been working to pass the equally historic Climate Change Bill.
Climate advocates are all too familiar with the idea of climate tipping points, where static Earth systems are rapidly transformed into new and unfamiliar states.
For advocates, there’s an important analogue in the concept of political tipping points. Only instead of rising temperatures melting glaciers, the past two weeks in Australia and the US have shown how rising community concern can melt frozen political positions – with equally dramatic results.
We saw it in July, when Australia’s new Labor government introduced its Climate Change Bill. The party had campaigned promising to legislate a 2030 emissions reductions target of 43% and net zero emissions by 2050. It follows the “climate war” years during which several prime ministers were removed for attempting to introduce bills to address the climate and energy crises.