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The Climate Change (Net Zero Future) Act 2023

Legislating our commitment to meet our State’s ambitious emissions reduction targets

The Climate Change (Net Zero Future) Act 2023 legislates our ambitious approach to addressing climate change.  It enshrines whole-of-government climate action to deliver net zero by 2050.

The Act passed both Houses of Parliament with multi-party support on 30 November 2023.  It sets a clear path to 2050 with emissions reduction targets. It also ensures we follow comprehensive guiding principles while continuing to improve resilience and accountability.

About the Act

The Act commits the NSW government to effective action on climate change to ensure a sustainable and fair future for the people, economy and environment of NSW. It legislates:

  • guiding principles for action to address climate change that consider the impacts, opportunities and need for action in NSW
  • emissions reduction targets for NSW:
    • 50% reduction on 2005 levels by 2030
    • 70% reduction on 2005 levels by 2035
    • Net zero by 2050.  
  • an objective for NSW to be more resilient to a changing climate
  • establishing an independent, expert Net Zero Commission to monitor, review, report on and advise on progress towards these targets.  

The Act can be read in full on the NSW legislation website.

How this legislation will benefit you

From our coastal communities along NSW, to our Traditional Owners, outback farmers and koalas on the brink of extinction, we’re all feeling the impact of climate change. Droughts, floods, heatwaves and bushfires are only going to get worse unless we take action today.

This legislation signals our commitment to a net zero future. To taking action to protect our communities, lands, skies and seas across NSW. A net zero future is the only way we can guarantee a safe and secure home for our children, grandchildren and generations to come.

The Act will help us by:

  • setting out a clear policy framework to 2050, consistent with the Paris Agreement to keep global temperature rise well below 2 degrees and avoid the worst impacts of climate change
  • enshrining our emissions reduction targets in law, keeping current and future governments accountable to deliver net zero by 2050  
  • strengthening NSW’s existing approach to climate change, with the ability to increase our targets as we get closer to 2050 and build resilience
  • sending a clear signal to communities, business and industry on the path forward, and our commitment to work with them on tangible climate action and a fair and equitable transition
  • providing certainty for investors, growing clean jobs and Australian renewable manufacturing.

Next steps

We’re jumping into action to meet our commitments under the Act.

We are working to establish the Net Zero Commission in the first half of 2024. The Commission will provide expert advice on the steps we must take to achieve our goals.