House debates

Tuesday, 15 October 2019


Climate Change

4:59 pm

Photo of Angus TaylorAngus Taylor (Hume, Liberal Party, Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction) Share this | Hansard source

Earlier today the Greens pulled a classic stunt by sending up a hot air balloon, emitting 100 litres an hour. Talk about symbolism! The party of protest is all about grand symbolic gestures and emotive language, but has absolutely no idea about the real and practical needs of everyday Australians. Labor is making a huge song and dance about declaring a climate emergency, yet refuses to commit to a single policy in this area from the last election. Are they for a 45 per cent target or against it? Are they for coal exports or against them? Are they for gas exports or against them? Are they for coal generators or against them? Are they for a carbon tax or against one? Are they for carbon pricing or against it?

This shows what an absolutely empty gesture Labor's attempted declaration is. It is intended to cover for their total absence of real and meaningful policies. Indeed, they've just said this afternoon that they're not going to have any policies until just before the next election. Yet they want to declare a climate emergency. Labor's hollow symbolism will not deliver a single tonne of emissions reductions. By contrast, this government is taking real and meaningful action. We have a strong target: 26 per cent. That's a 50 per cent reduction in per capita emissions and a 65 per cent reduction in the emissions intensity of the economy by 2030. We have an enviable track record of meeting and beating our targets. We're on track to beat our 2020 targets by 367 million tonnes. That is the envy of the world. It is absolutely true that credit should go where credit is due, and that is to the hardworking Australians, small businesses and farmers—farmers have played a hugely important role in managing land to ensure that we achieve those 2020 obligations.

We've laid out to the last tonne how we'll achieve our 2030 obligations. There are 328 million tonnes of abatement through the $3½ billion Climate Solutions Package, which includes $2 billion for the Climate Solutions Fund energy efficiency initiatives, 25 million tonnes for hydro initiatives—Snowy Hydro, Battery of the Nation and Marinus Link—and so on. We have laid it out very clearly. At the same time, despite the upward pressure we are facing from LNG exports, those LNG exports are reducing emissions around the world. The equivalent of 28 per cent of Australia's annual domestic emissions are being reduced by our LNG exports. They are playing a hugely important role globally. Meanwhile, we are using technologies and investing in technologies that can play a significant role beyond 2030 because those technology pathways—with hydrogen, with lithium, with biofuels and so on—are crucial to finding those cost-effective pathways that maintain a strong economy beyond 2030.

But those opposite tell us everything that is wrong with this debate. They are all symbolism, no policy. The member for Hindmarsh asked for a ruthless and unsparing review of the policies he took to the last election. But they couldn't explain the costs and the details. The member for Hunter gave him a ruthless and unsparing review. He said, 'Drop the policies and go to the coalition's.' That's what he said. It was ruthless and unsparing, but it turns out the member for Hindmarsh didn't want it to be that ruthless and unsparing. He does admit that he had his backside delivered at the last election—his words. He sure did, because those opposite went to the Australian people with policies that would trash the economy, trash incomes, trash jobs, trash sectors and trash industries. These are industries that are central to electorates right across this country, particularly in regional Australia—in agriculture and in resources—and we won't stand for that. We stand for reaching and achieving, for meeting and beating sensible targets, whilst maintaining a strong economy.


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