Tuesday, 2 February 2021
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. The Climate Targets Panel has found that for Australia to do its share in meeting the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to well below two degrees—a tipping point beyond which climate change becomes unstoppable—we would need emissions cuts of at least 50 per cent by 2030. Will you now lift Australia's 2030 targets before Joe Biden's April 22 summit and join the rest of the world in fighting what the President says is an 'existential threat', or will you stick with your paltry 2030 targets that are based on Australia warming by over four degrees and becoming largely uninhabitable during our children's lifetimes?
The member may know that in 2020 we beat our targets for Kyoto by some 459 million tonnes. The member may know that in 2019-20 emissions were three per cent lower than in 2018-19. Emissions are now 16.6 per cent below 2005 levels.
The government is committed to our Paris targets. We will achieve them, and I believe we will beat them. The way we will beat them will not be by any other method than ensuring that we are investing in the technological changes that are necessary to continue to successfully transform our economy, and not just our economy. As indeed Biden's special envoy said, the United States could cut their emissions to zero tomorrow, and it wouldn't solve the problem. What we need around the world is the technological transformation that has as big an impact in this country, the United States, Europe and the United Kingdom as it can also have in China, in India, in Vietnam, in Indonesia—
I just say to the Leader of the Greens as I've said many times to those asking questions: certainly there were two questions there. But, as I've said ad nauseam, if there's a long quotation at the start or a long statement at the start, the Prime Minister is entitled to address that as well. To avoid that, you simply just need to state a clear, short, sharp question. The Prime Minister has the call.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. I note the point that the member for Melbourne just made. He's not interested in the how. I'm interested in the how. I'm interested in how we get to net zero as soon as possible and preferably by 2050. I'm interested in how we get there, because, if you don't get there by technology, you get there by taxes. I will never put a cost on Australians for getting to net zero by 2050. I see us getting to net zero by transformational technology that keeps the jobs in our regions and that keeps the jobs in our heavy industries, one that provides a future for all of those workers, particularly across regional Australia. That's what we're investing in.
Our 2030 targets are very clear. I took them to the last election, and they were endorsed by the Australian people. I call on others to nominate what their 2030 targets are, because I think that would be very important for the people of Australia to know before the election next year.