Thursday, 3 December 2020
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. Next week Boris Johnson's Conservative government will host the global Climate Ambition Summit, at which countries will be required to outline their plans for stronger 2030 targets to respond to the climate emergency. Will Australia attend the summit and announce stronger 2030 targets? Or will your government continue Australia's increasing international isolation by retaining weak 2030 targets that are driving us to catastrophe?
I thank the member for his question. Indeed we will be participating, and I have communicated as such to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. I look forward to participating in that program, as we have participated in similar topics over the past few weeks at the APEC Summit, the G20 Summit, the East Asia Summit prior to that and a recent meeting with the President of the European Union. We will participate in that program. It will be a great opportunity to correct the mistruths that have just been spoken by the Leader of the Greens and are often presented, because Australia is a country that has made commitments, has kept commitments and has beaten commitments when it comes to reducing emissions in this country.
As the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction recalled to the House only this week, Australia's emissions have fallen 16.6 per cent from June 2005 and 18.9 per cent from June 2007, when they peaked; they're just the facts. It is also true we have beaten the Kyoto targets that we set by some 459 million tonnes. It is also our government's policy, as I've already had the opportunity to convey, that we believe the future of getting to net zero emissions is by technology, not by taxes. The 'if' and 'when' is not the question; the 'how' is the question. If you don't know how to do it, you'll never get there and you'll never achieve it. This is the practical contribution that Australia brings to the table.
On the engagement we have entered into with countries like Japan around hydrogen: what the member opposite may want to consider is, if you want to achieve those sorts of goals, you have to be able to produce hydrogen at a rate of $2 per kilo. That's a target that actually reduces your emissions, and they're the specifics that our government is pursuing to ensure a net zero emissions future. This is a government that is committed to practical action and getting things done, and working with other countries to achieve that. It's not good enough for advanced economies like Australia to achieve the things we're achieving. In like economies, like, we know, New Zealand, emissions have only fallen by one per cent compared to our over 16 per cent or compared to the 13½ per cent in the previous comparison. And Canada's emissions have fallen by zero.
So Australia is pulling its weight. Australia is making its contribution, and we will continue to do that so long as we have the opportunity to do so, which we look forward to doing. The Leader of the Greens should stop talking Australia down.