Monday, 11 September 2023
Questions without Notice
To the Minister for Climate Change and Energy: it's now nearly a year since the parliament legislated a minimum target of a 43 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030. Given that the latest public data shows Australia's overall emissions have gone up over that time, has the Minister received advice, formal or informal, that we're not on track to reach that 2030 emissions target?
Honourable members interjecting—
Order! The member will ask her question again. The member for O'Connor and others interjecting know that it's highly disorderly when someone is asking a question. I ask members to enable me to actually hear the question. I give the call to the member for Goldstein.
To the Minister for Climate Change and Energy: it's now nearly a year since the parliament legislated a minimum target of a 43 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030. Given the latest public data shows Australia's overall emissions have gone up over that time, has the minister received formal or informal advice that we're not on track to reach that 2030 emissions target?
I thank the honourable member for the question. She refers, quite rightly, to the public data released a few weeks ago, the quarterly projections for greenhouse gas emissions. They did show that emissions were up 0.1 per cent over the year, or about 0.3 per cent of a megaton. There was other data included in that. Electricity emissions were down four per cent, which is a good thing as people take up more and more renewable energy. Fugitive emissions, which the honourable member is interested in, were down one per cent. Stationary energy, mainly industry, was down just under one per cent. Agriculture emissions were up three per cent, reflecting, by and large, a return to predrought conditions, and transport emissions were up six per cent, which really tells us a few things. It tells us that aviation is returning to pre-COVID levels, and it also underlines the need for more action on transport, which is why the transport minister has convened the Jet Zero Council to determine new and better ways for sustainable aviation fuel, and it's why the transport minister and I are working on fuel efficiency standards. All of this very important.
The honourable member referred to advice and Climate Change Act. As the honourable member knows, the other thing incorporated in the Climate Change Act—which, again, I recognise she supported through the House—is an annual statement by me, the minister of the day, to the parliament on progress, both on how we're going on emissions and on the effectiveness of government policy that must, under law, be supported by independent advice from the Climate Change Authority, which must be tabled at the same time. I have not yet received that advice. When it comes time for the annual statement, it will be tabled in accordance with the law later this year; that is the case.
We do recognise, on this side of the House, that 43 per cent is an ambitious target. It's achievable, but it's also ambitious. It won't happen in the absence of government action, and that's why not only are we implementing all the policies we took to the election but we've announced we'll implement sector plans as well, and we have begun the process of setting the 2035 target. Some people spent the weekend debating whether climate change is real, and some people spent the weekend debating about whether they were committed to the bare minimum of action—net zero by 2050. They spent the weekend arguing about whether there's such a thing as climate change. We don't spend our time doing that. We spend our time getting on with implementing policies to reduce emissions. That's what the Albanese government does. It gets on with the job of implementing the mandate that we were elected to implement—reducing emissions, creating jobs of the future, implementing more renewable energy and getting emissions down—and that's the job we'll continue to do with no support from those opposite, who can't agree on whether climate change is real or not.