Thursday, 10 December 2020
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. The 2020 UN Production gap report has reported that the world is heading for a temperature rise in excess of three degrees on current emission reduction commitments. In response, leaders around the world are speaking at the COP 26 Climate Ambition Summit this Saturday, to honour their commitment to act to stay within 1.5 degrees. Is it correct that, as a result of your government's failure to commit to increase its ambitions and do what it takes to stay within 1.5 degrees, you are not invited to present at the COP 26 Climate Ambition Summit?
I can assure you of this: Australia's climate and energy policy will be set here in Australia, in Australia's national interests, not to get a speaking slot at some international summit. The only approval I seek for the policies of my government is that of the Australian people. That's it. The only people I answer to in this place are the Australian people. And our government stands to serve the Australian people. Whatever country it may be that may seek to impose whatever position on this country, Australia's policy will always remain sovereign within our borders and nowhere else.
What I can tell the member—I'm sure she would be pleased to know—is that over the last two years, Australia's 2030 position on the Paris targets we have committed to has improved by 639 million tonnes. This is equivalent to taking all of Australia's 14.7 million cars off the road for 15 years. Our emissions have fallen since 2005 by some 16.6 per cent. Over 430 million tonnes—
As I have said many times before, if the member for Warringah had simply asked that and only asked that, the Prime Minister would have been compelled to give a very specific answer. Unfortunately for her, she included a long preamble that made a number of statements about the subject matter, and that enables the Prime Minister to answer all aspects of what a member asks in their question and not confine him to the preferred aspect, which was the specific question at the end. The Prime Minister is in order.
I do note the point of relevance that the member offered up just now. The member thinks what's relevant is whether you speak at summits. That is not something that troubles me or concerns me one way or the other. If people wish us to speak at them, we're happy to come; if they don't, I'm not fussed.
What matters is if you actually reduce emissions. There's been a 16.6 per cent fall in emissions since 2005. Since emissions peaked in 2007 there's been an almost 20 per cent fall in emissions. On the earlier figures, this compares to a zero or 0.2 per cent fall in like countries like Canada and New Zealand. Australia has record investment in renewables. Australia has a plan to put the technology in place to reduce emissions and ensure we achieve the Kyoto commitments, as we already have demonstrated, and, importantly, the Paris commitments before us. What matters is what you get done, and Australia is getting it done on emissions reduction. That's what matters to the Australian people, not how many speeches you give and not how much ambition you declare. I may have an ambition to play front row forward for the Australian Wallabies, but that ambition won't be realised. What is being realised is Australia meeting its emission reduction targets. (Time expired)