Thursday, 13 May 2021
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) we are in a climate emergency and need to rapidly reduce emissions to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels,
(ii) United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said that 'We can no longer afford big fossil fuel infrastructure anywhere',
(iv) the Budget contains $1.18 billion in public subsidies for new coal and gas including:
(A) $263.7 million for carbon capture, use and storage,
(B) $173.6 million to help build roads for the gas industry in the Northern Territory,
(C) $30.0 million for Australian Industrial Power to build a 635MW gas fired power station in Port Kembla, and
(D) $15.7 million for gas industry field appraisal trials in the North Bowen and Galilee basins; and
(b) calls on the Australian Government to phase out fossil fuel subsidies and end public funding for new fossil fuel infrastructure.
Climate change is a global problem requiring a global solution. We are doing our bit by meeting and beating our emissions reduction commitments and by investing $20 billion in low-emissions technology, to drive at least $80 billion of total public and private investment by 2030. Our gas-fired recovery is focused on ensuring Australian gas works for all Australians. It is supporting a resurgence in our manufacturing sector, which more than 900,000 Australians rely on for their livelihoods. The senator would be aware that the International Energy Agency director, Fatih Birol, has said that carbon capture technologies are necessary on a global scale if we are to meet the Paris Agreement.
Labor is the only party of government that is committed to climate action that creates jobs and reduces emissions. As the Greens party—who will remain in permanent opposition—know, stunt motions in this place achieve nothing. Only the election of an Albanese Labor government will create new jobs while reducing emissions. Some people in this chamber think it's important to win government and actually deliver jobs. Others prefer to sit in here and move stunt motions that will go nowhere.
So far we've had a global warming emergency, then a climate change emergency, then a climate catastrophe emergency. Now we've got a climate collapse emergency. One thing we've never had is any empirical scientific evidence showing that carbon dioxide from human activity needs to be cut. I first challenged Senator Waters to debate me and to provide the scientific evidence 10½ years ago. She immediately declined. She declined again in 2016 and again 602 days ago in the Senate. There has been nothing since, because there is no such evidence justifying the collapse of our electricity sector. What is threatened with extinction here is not our planet; it is our civilisation and it is science.