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Following the passage of the Government’s landmark Climate Change Bills, the Federal Government has appointed three new members of the Climate Change Authority to provide independent advice to the Government on the reduction of Australia’s emissions and climate change policy. 

The newly appointed members are Doctor Virginia Marshall, Professor Lesley Hughes and Sam Mostyn, bringing the Authority’s membership from six to nine members. 

Among other things, the Authority will advise the Climate Change Minister on an annual climate change statement to Parliament, assist in providing a new accountability mechanism for delivering climate change policy and provide advice on Australia’s future targets under the Paris Agreement.

All three new members are extremely well credentialed and bring a breadth of expertise and experience to the Board. 

Dr Marshall is known for her work on Indigenous water rights, including national water policy and law reform, climate change, human rights and Indigenous perspectives on the rights to nature/legal personhood.

Professor Hughes has had a distinguished academic career and has provided independent expert advice to the government on a range of scientific and policy issues, including at the federal Climate Commission.

Ms Mostyn is a businesswoman and sustainability adviser with a long history of executive and governance roles, and has served on boards for The Climate Council and the Centre for Policy Development.

Federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen, congratulated the incoming Authority members. 

“The Climate Change Authority has a crucial role to play and these three additional members will bring vital skills and experience,” Mr Bowen said.

“With this expanded membership, the Authority is better placed to oversee emissions reduction efforts and provide government with expert advice.”

The Climate Change Authority provides expert advice to the government and plays an important role in the governance of Australia’s mitigation policies. It was established in 2012 under the previous Labor Government. Labor has consistently fought to protect the Authority from threats of abolition and relegation. 

Aside from its new functions, the Authority also retains responsibility for reviewing the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting System and the Carbon Farming Initiative and conducting research into climate change matters.

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