Higgins Climate and Environment Reference Group

Higgins CAN, and some of its member organisations, participate in the newly-formed Higgins Climate and Environment Reference Group (Higgins CERG).

The key objective of Higgins CERG is to work collaboratively to help Michelle Ananda-Rajah – as the Member for Higgins – achieve the actions her electorate has elected her to undertake.

The new Higgins CERG held its first in a series of four 2024 meetings with Dr. Michelle Ananda-Rajah on 19th February.

The Reference Group includes Higgins CAN and constituent organisations.  The purpose of the meetings is for Michelle to provide an update on the latest Federal climate and environment developments. It is also an opportunity for participating groups to raise concerns and ask questions. 

Jenny Smithers of Lighter Footprints made opening statements on the goals and objectives of the group. Michelle then provided an update on the latest developments in the drive to net zero. She stated that no further persuasion is required on the “why”; the focus is now on the “how”. She summarised a number of large investments in climate and environmental projects e.g. $20Bn allocated to Rewiring the Nation (poles and wires).

Jenny Smithers then spoke on methane emissions, asking Michelle to support a push to implement all 22 recommendations of the Climate Change Authority review of the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) Scheme.

Barbara Daniel from ARRCC and Tony Fisk from ACF Malvern provided some background information on the EPBC (Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act). Barbara made several requests of Michelle that the government put climate at the heart of the Act by making climate a matter of national environmental significance (MNES). More controversially, she asked about scope 3 emissions and a climate trigger, without using those triggering words. Tony followed up with a question about government efforts, if any, to wean Japan and Korea off coal and gas.

Finally, James Russell raised the subject of emissions targets particularly in the context of moving baselines. He asked Michelle to canvass the idea of setting a single baseline for emissions measurement with clarity about whether land use is included, so everyone is talking the same language.

Next meeting: Monday May 6. 

If you are interested in participating as a representative of one of Higgins CAN’s constituent organisations, contact Greg Hardisty (hardistygreg@gmail.com).