The Federal Government has been asked to consider greenhouse gas emissions and their effects on animals when approving projects under federal laws.
The Federal Government has referred the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Climate Trigger) Bill 2022 to the Environment and Communications Legislation Committee for inquiry and report.
In its submission to the inquiry, Vets for Climate Action said: “Veterinary professionals and animal carers are on the front line experiencing the impacts of climate change first hand.
“Approximately 3 billion animals were killed or displaced by the 2019-20 bushfires, hundreds of thousands more killed by floods, and domestic pets suffer from heat stress each summer. “
The submission said Australia has the worst mammal extinction rate in the world.
“An Australian rodent in the Torres Strait Islands, the Bramble Cay Melomys is the first mammal to become extinct due to climate change. Rising sea levels and storm surges are thought to have resulted in loss of habitat for this animal.
"Animals hold no responsibility for the causes of climate change, yet they feel the consequences most strongly. “
The submission noted that, currently a private coal, gas or oil development can get environmental approval without any consideration of their potential emissions and contribution to climate pollution.
“The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Climate Trigger) Bill 2022 will ensure that any new development will be assessed on their contribution to emissions and climate change, “ the submission said.
“It will stop new projects that would emit more than 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year and require the government to assess the climate effect of developments that would produce more than 25,000 tonnes.
“This legislation will focus the minds of all private developers on reducing carbon emissions from their business and limiting their contribution to pollution of the globe.”