Wednesday, 11 September 2019
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. We're a barely a week out of winter and Australia a burning, but as millions of people join the worldwide climate strike on 20 September your drought minister doesn't even accept the science. Meanwhile the Paris Agreement commitments are inadequate because the current pledges, including Australia's, have us on track for a catastrophic 3½ degrees of global warming. Given that you'll already be in the US meeting Donald Trump, will you attend the UN global Climate Action Summit in New York and will you do what the UN Secretary-General is asking of all world leaders and lift Australia's greenhouse ambition so that we don't warm the planet by more than 1½ degrees, or will you travel all the way to the US but boycott a crucial global climate crisis meeting?
Australia, of course, will be represented at that meeting. Australia takes very seriously the issue of climate change and that's why we're taking action on climate change. And that's why, as a government, we're meeting our targets. Plenty of other countries set targets, but not many, like Australia, meet them in the way we meet them. When we came to government there was a 700 million tonne deficit when it came to meeting our 2020 Kyoto targets, and we set to work immediately and turned that around, and we will now exceed the Kyoto 2020 targets by 367 million tonnes.
Mr Conroy interjecting—
What I've found interesting is that I move around and I talk to leaders and they are often unaware of the achievements our government are putting on the deck in terms of investment in renewable energy—
Mr Conroy interjecting—
and particularly the fact that we have the highest per capita investment in renewable energy of any country on the planet. So I will not accept, whether it's from the member for Melbourne or anyone else anywhere else, that Australia is not doing its own heavy lifting when it comes to taking action on climate change. We are doing our heavy lifting. We are setting our targets, we are meeting our targets, we have the programs in place and we've been investing billions of dollars to achieve that. The member for Melbourne can talk down Australia all he likes, but, when I go overseas, I always talk about the good things Australia is doing.