ten years of denial
", the Australian government reached a landmark climate deal on Monday that will force the country's biggest polluters to reduce their emissions.
Under the agreement, Australia's 215 most polluting facilities, such as coal mines and gas-fired power stations, will have to reduce their net emissions by almost 5% per year until 2030.
Fossil fuels and mining form the backbone of Australia's economy, and attempts to cut carbon pollution have been undermined in recent years by bitter political wrangling.
The centre-left government reached this agreement after several weeks of tense negotiations with the Greens party.
“Ten years of denial, delay and inaction”
Australia is finally meeting its obligations after "
10 years of denial, delay and inaction
", Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has said.
The country is committed to reducing its emissions by 43% before the end of 2030, which will remove some 200 million tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere, the government predicts.
The adopted text should be submitted to Parliament this week and come into force on July 1.
Previously skeptical the Greens, whose backing is needed to push the bill through the Senate amid opposition from Tories, agreed to back the plan after convincing the government to set a hard cap on emissions.
Companies will therefore have to reduce their level of pollution each year.
While some conservationists have said the cuts are too low, Australia's mining industry has warned the new policy could lead to massive job losses.
Global mining giants Rio Tinto and BHP, operators in Australia, will be forced to comply.
For David Schlosberg, director of the Sydney Environment Institute, this plan is "
better than the policy of inaction pursued by Australia for more than a decade
", but it is only "
Australia is one of the biggest coal exporters in the world and as a result one of the biggest laggards when it comes to climate defense.