The Headlines: Greens Will Back Labor’s Climate Plan, But There’s a Catch

The Greens vs Coal and Gas Projects

The following story is a story about power, the Greens, and stopping the planet from drowning in melted icebergs. Oh, it’s also a story that explains what Australia’s Safeguard Mechanism is and what carbon offsets are. 

Australia’s Safeguard Mechanism is a national programme that requires companies that produce over 100,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases every year to keep their overall emissions below a baseline.

Labor wants to change this Safeguard Mechanism in two ways:

  1. They want companies that produce 100,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas to cut their emissions by a further 28% before 2030. 
  2. They want to allow companies to reach this new target by carbon offsetting their emissions. 

Carbon offsetting is when businesses invest in activities like planting trees instead of reducing their own carbon-emitting activities. In theory, carbon offsetting should be a transitional programme used by companies as they attempt to become net zero. In practice, it’s used by some companies to pretend they’re greener than they actually are. 

At the beginning of 2023, the Greens weren’t stoked with Labor’s carbon offsetting idea. And they still aren’t. However, they have said that will support it if Labor promises to ban any more coal or gas projects from being built in Australia. 

“The Greens have huge concerns with other parts of the scheme, such as the rampant use of offsets and the low emissions reduction targets,” said Adam Bandt, Leader of the Greens. “But we’re prepared to put those concerns aside and give Labor’s scheme a chance if Labor agrees to stop opening new coal and gas projects.”

“Labor needs the Greens to get this through parliament. If Labor’s scheme falls over, it will be because Labor wants to open new coal and gas mines.”

Will NSW Ban Gay Conversion Therapy? 

Warning: This article deals with the topic of targeted violence against a group and may be triggering for some readers.

Conversion therapy is heinous pseudoscience that attempts to change someone’s sexual orientation. It is used by some religious organisations to try and convert gay, bisexual, pansexual, and asexual people into being straight. This practice is banned in the ACT, Victoria, and Queensland. 

An independent member of NSW’s parliament, Alex Greenwich, wants conversion therapy to be banned in the state he represents. In fact, he’s making this topic a state election issue. Greenwich stated that if neither Labor or the Liberals can form a majority government next month, he’ll only support the parties that promise to ban this practice. 

As Greenwich said, “It enshrines in law that if you are LGBTQI, there is nothing wrong with you. You are not broken, and you do not need to be fixed.”

NSW’s Labor Leader, Chris Minns, has already promised that if he’s elected, he’ll ban conversion therapy. However, the Premier of NSW, Dominic Perrottet, is yet to make such a pledge. 

Moreover, Perrottet is dodging questions about this topic like Neo dodging bullets. When asked whether or not he supported conversion therapy, he said, “We need to deal with these issues in an understanding and tolerant and sensitive way.”

Perrottet, a simple yes or a no would have been nice. 

If this section brings up any issues for you or anyone you know, or you have experienced targeted violence, please contact Lifeline (13 11 14), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), both of which provide trained counsellors you can talk with 24/7. If you are in immediate danger, call 000.

Related: All the Best Pride Events in Sydney at WorldPride 2023

Related: Jewish Communities React to Dominic Perrottet’s Nazi Uniform Attack

Louis Vuitton’s New Creative Director

Meanwhile, on planet fashion, Louis Vuitton has named Virgil Abloh’s successor. This means that designer Pharrell Williams is this company’s next Creative Director for Men.

“I am glad to welcome Pharrell back home, after our collaborations in 2004 and 2008 for Louis Vuitton, as our new Men’s Creative Director,” said Pietro Beccari, Louis Vuitton’s CEO. “His creative vision beyond fashion will undoubtedly lead Louis Vuitton towards a new and very exciting chapter.”

In 2021, Abloh died after a battle with cancer.

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