Thursday, 23 March 2023
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for the Environment and Water. In a July Press Club address about the State of the environment report, you stated, 'Global warming multiplies environmental pressures everywhere.' The IPCC, the pre-eminent international body on the science of climate, again, just two days ago, emphatically stated there must be no new fossil fuel projects if we are to meet our Paris agreement obligations. Does the government accept or reject the IPCC advice?
The Deputy Leader of the Opposition, I thought we'd been through this, but I'll go through it one last time. When a minister is approaching the dispatch box, just like when you are approaching the dispatch box, it is not appropriate to interject.
RSEK (—) (): I want to thank the member for Mackellar for her question because I know she cares passionately about the environment, about nature and about climate change. Of course, on this side, we share her concerns. We know that the IPCC report is important, and it's important that we take note of its implications globally. Australia certainly has to do its share to make sure we get to a net zero planet for our kids and our grandkids, for human beings and for nature. I thank her for her question, and I reassure her that we take her concerns seriously. We need to put Australia on a new path, a new path towards a renewable energy future. We believe that. That's why we're doing it. That's why the best and most-important thing we can do as a parliament is to pass the safeguard mechanism so we can get to net zero.
Those opposite spent almost a decade in denial. If they had acted when they could have, we would be a lot further down the path towards a decarbonised future than we now are. They had 22 separate energy policies. The only place they actually overachieved was in coming up with energy policies. Sadly, they didn't land a single one. We on this side are boosting renewables as a share of our electricity grid to 82 per cent. As the minister says, 82 per cent in 82 months—that is a huge achievement. There is $20 billion for Rewiring the Nation and six new renewable energy zones in Newcastle, the Illawarra, Gippsland, Bass Strait, Bunbury and western Victoria. We are changing our environmental laws so that we can get these new renewable projects through the pipeline more quickly.
We have $3 billion of the $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund that is for low-emissions technologies and no new funding for coal and gas from the National Reconstruction Fund.
We are supporting electric cars. We have signed the methane pledge. We have passed laws to protect the ozone layer. Decarbonising Australia is a massive job, but we are getting on with that job by constructing new renewable energy projects, by upgrading our poles and wires, by transforming our grid and by getting cheaper, cleaner renewable energy into our homes and businesses. It is not just good for the environment it is actually great for energy self-reliance, as well, and if we had started this massive job nine years ago, when we could have, we would be a lot further down the track now.