On his first day as the premier of Queensland, Steven Miles plans to establish more challenging goals for reducing emissions.
The new leader of Queensland, Steven Miles, is anticipated to declare on Friday that the state will increase its efforts to reduce emissions, along with several other initiatives to be revealed on their first day in office.
Miles will attend a caucus meeting on Friday as the sole contender for the Labor leadership position left open by the departing premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk.
Later, he will give a presentation detailing his administration’s main focuses, which include proposals to update Queensland’s outdated goals for reducing emissions. These targets have been deemed “unsatisfactory” and are significantly less strict than those of other states.
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In September, environmental organizations penned a letter to the state expressing concern over Queensland’s emissions reduction goals. These targets, which strive for a 30% decrease in carbon emissions by 2030 compared to 2005 levels, were deemed in need of immediate revision.
The organizations had requested goals of at least 60% by 2030, and 90% by 2035, aiming to align the state with what they deemed as “the bare minimum” to restrict global warming to 1.5C.
The Albanese administration aims to decrease emissions by 43% by the year 2030, and recently, New South Wales enacted a law setting a goal of a 70% reduction by 2035.
The opposition in Queensland, known as the Liberal National party, has promised to implement a net-zero target by 2050. However, environmental organizations have deemed this target as insufficient.
In March, the Greens proposed a bill that would mandate a 75% decrease in emissions by 2030 and achieve net-zero by 2035.
The government’s new objectives are not currently specified.
According to reports, Miles will also declare his plans to shift the focus of the climate discussion towards creating jobs in regional Queensland. This includes transitioning industries to produce environmentally friendly products and services. The goal is to alleviate some of the political conflict between the resource-heavy areas and the urban areas in the south-east.
At a recent media briefing, Miles stated that his main priority would be addressing the cost of living. He has already implemented a freeze on car registration fees and public transportation fares.
The speech he will deliver on Friday is anticipated to contain ideas on increasing the standard of living, enhancing healthcare accessibility, constructing more inexpensive housing, and preventing crime.
Miles is reportedly in the process of making significant changes to the cabinet, which has seen very few alterations since the Palaszczuk government’s election in 2015.
The transport minister, Mark Bailey, announced on Thursday he would stand aside, amid rumours he was set to be culled. The retiring MP Stirling Hinchliffe will also make way for new faces.
On Thursday, the Queensland Conservation Council stated that Miles has the chance to establish a forward-thinking plan that safeguards the state’s natural wonders and tackles the pressing issues brought on by climate change.
Dave Copeman, the director of QCC, stated that Miles must prioritize strong measures to combat climate change, such as revising emission goals to align with the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C. This is essential in protecting the Great Barrier Reef.
The council also urged the government to pledge to safeguard the channel country, increase the size of protected regions, and tackle the issue of high living expenses by funding rooftop solar for rental and social housing units.