Steven Miles to set more ambitious emissions reduction target on day one as Queensland premier | Queensland politics #Steven #Miles #set #ambitious #emissions #reduction #target #day #Queensland #premier #Queensland #politics

The incoming Queensland premier, Steven Miles, is expected to announce on Friday that the state will lift its lagging emissions reductions targets, among a number of “day one” initiatives to be unveiled by the new state leadership.

Miles will enter a caucus meeting on Friday as the only candidate for the Labor leadership vacated by the retiring premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk.

Afterwards, he will deliver a speech outlining his government’s priorities, including plans to overhaul Queensland’s outdated emissions targets, which have been labelled “inadequate” and are considerably weaker than those of other states.

Environment groups sent the state a letter in September claiming Queensland’s emissions reductions targets – which aim for a 30% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030, compared to 2005 levels – need to be urgently revised.

The groups had called for targets of at least 60% by 2030, and 90% by 2035, that would bring the state in line with they said were “the minimum required” to limit global heating to 1.5C.

The Albanese government has a target of 43% reduction by 2030, while New South Wales last month passed into law a target of 70% reduction by 2035.

In Queensland, the Liberal National opposition has pledged to introduce a net-zero target by 2050, which has been described by environment groups as inadequate.

The Greens introduced a bill in March that would legislate for a 75% reduction in emissions by 2030 and net-zero by 2035.

It is not clear what the government’s new targets will be.

Sources say Miles will also announce his intention to refocus climate debate on job creation in regional Queensland – including pivoting industry to delivering green goods and services – in order to remove some of the political tension between the resource-rich regions and the urban south-east.

Miles said at a press conference this week his primary focus would be on cost of living measures, and has already announced a freeze on car registration costs and public transport fares.

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His speech on Friday is expected to include more cost of living initiatives, improved access to healthcare, plans to build more affordable housing, and crime prevention.

Miles is believed to be finalising a significant shakeup to the cabinet, which has undergone remarkably few changes since the Palaszczuk government was first elected in 2015.

The transport minister, Mark Bailey, announced on Thursday he would stand aside, amid rumours he was set to be culled. Retiring MP Stirling Hinchliffe will also make way for new faces.

The Queensland Conservation Council said on Thursday Miles has “an opportunity
to set a visionary agenda that protects the state’s natural treasures and addresses the urgent challenges posed by climate change”.
The QCC director, Dave Copeman, said that Miles, in his first 100 days, must commit to robust climate action, including updating emissions targets to align with limiting global heating to 1.5C, which was “crucial to saving the Great Barrier Reef”.

The QCC said it also wanted the government to commit to protecting the channel country, expanding protected areas, addressing the cost of living by investing in rooftop solar for renters’ and social homes.

#Steven #Miles #set #ambitious #emissions #reduction #target #day #Queensland #premier #Queensland #politics

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