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CANBERRA, AAP – Australia should replicate its expert-led approach to the coronavirus in tackling climate change, scientists have urged the federal government.

Science and Technology Australia says the nation’s successful approach to the pandemic provides a model for tackling climate risk and the transition to a net zero emissions economy.

Australia’s virus strategy is among the best in the world, the group’s president Jeremy Brownlie says.

“The last year has clearly demonstrated that to protect lives and livelihoods, we need to listen to the scientific evidence and use it to guide policy,” he said.

“The terrifying bushfire season last summer in Australia was a sign of things to come.

“If we don’t transition to a net zero emissions economy, we’ll see further lives lost, lasting damage to our unique flora and fauna, and more local communities devastated by fire and drought.”

STA has mirrored this sentiment in a submission to independent MP for Warringah Zali Steggall’s climate change bill, which is set to go under the microscope on Friday.

If legislated, the proposal would rubber-stamp into law a goal of net zero emissions by 2050, and set up a Climate Change Commission.

The bill has wide support from environment, industry and business groups who have long been calling for certainty on climate policy from the federal government.

Senior bureaucrats and representatives from environment and industry groups will appear at an inquiry into the bill, which is yet to clear the first hurdle of parliament.