Climate change: Greens leader Adam Bandt urges Anthony Albanese to ‘handle the climate better’

Greens leader Adam Bandt remains modest about whether his party will support the government’s climate change goals when it comes to this week’s vote.

A bill anchoring a 43% emission reduction target by 2030 and zero by 2050 is expected to pass through the lower house this week, where the government has the numbers.

But in the Senate, where Labor is outnumbered, the government needs the support of the Greens and one member of the cross-bench to meet the targets.

Speaking to Sky News, Mr Bandt did not say whether the Greens would support the bill as it stands, suggesting some in the party room might take a hard line.

“One of the reasons we saw Green votes increase in this election is because people want us to work constructively with the new government but push them to do better,” said Mr. Bandt.

“The whole ‘it’s my way or the highway’ policy was rejected by the people in the election.”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said last week that he would not impose a moratorium on new supplies of coal and gas, as the Greens insist.

Climate change minister Chris Bowen is set to pass legislation next week before it is sent to the Senate when Parliament returns in September.

The upper house can still refer the bill to a Senate committee for further investigation.

Emission reduction targets are the first major test for the government in parliament.

While there is no need to set goals in law, the government has repeatedly said it wants them to be fixed to give business certainty.

But Mr. Bandt has accused Mr. Albanese of “recycling” Scott Morrison’s coal lines, saying it’s not enough to be “less terrible” than the former leader.

“This position is ultimately untenable,” Bandt said.

“I think most of the political spectrum will have different opinions about what the goals should be and how to quickly phase out existing coal and gas.

“But I think everyone will eventually agree that you’re not making the problem worse while you’re trying to fix it.”

Originally published as ‘Do better’: Anthony Albanese calls for major climate test