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Australia has taken a significant step towards combating Climate change with new laws that will force its biggest polluters to curb their emissions by about 5 percent each year. The legislation, which applies to 215 major industrial facilities, is a crucial part of the country’s pledge to reach net zero emissions by 2050. Experts have hailed the laws as a breakthrough in Australia’s “climate wars”, which have been characterized by a decade of political brawling that has repeatedly stalled attempts to tackle the nation’s contribution to Global warming.

The new regulations will require aluminum smelters, coal mines, oil refineries and other large polluters to reduce their emissions by 4.9 percent each year. This is the first time that greenhouse gas emissions reduction has been enshrined in Australian law, and has been widely welcomed by environmentalists and sustainability experts. “It’s obviously a good thing. We have a climate policy now,” said Tommy Wiedmann, a sustainability expert at the University of New South Wales.

Despite the positive reception, some experts have warned that Australia needs to do more if it wants to avoid dangerous Climate change. While the new laws are a crucial first step, Wiedmann warns that the hard decisions are still to come. “It’s not enough on its own to reduce emissions and avoid dangerous Climate change,” he said. “The hard decisions will come in the next few years.”

Australia has long been regarded as a laggard on global action to stop Climate change, but a series of severe natural disasters has helped to shift the country’s leaders towards a more proactive stance. Heavy storms in 2022 caused catastrophic floods on Australia’s east coast, while the “Black Summer” bushfires of 2019-2020 burned more than eight million hectares of native vegetation. Marine heatwaves have also caused mass coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef in 2016, 2017 and 2020.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s Labor government swept to power last year promising to change the pro-fossil fuel stance of the previous conservative administration. The new laws have been praised as a crucial first step towards that goal, but there are concerns about the impact they may have on jobs and the economy. The Minerals Council of Australia has warned that the financial burden of compliance could lead to massive job losses, and that some facilities may even be forced to close.

Despite these challenges, experts believe that the new laws signal a turning point in Australia’s approach to Climate change. “It pretty much pushes climate denialists in a corner,” said Martin Brueckner, a sustainability expert at Murdoch University. “Having made that first policy step – as small as it may be – I think it paves the way for more progressive policies to follow.”

As individuals, we can all play our part in the fight against climate change. We can reduce our carbon footprint by making small changes to our daily lives, such as using public transport, eating less meat, and conserving energy at home. We can also put pressure on our governments and elected officials to take action on Climate change. Together, we can create a more sustainable future for ourselves and for generations to come.

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