Monday, 9 August 2021
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Leader of the Government in the Senate, representing the Prime Minister. In a few hours, the premier global body on climate science, the IPCC, will warn us that, unless there are immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in pollution from coal, oil and gas, limiting warming to even two degrees will be beyond reach and that we will reach dangerous climate tipping points this decade. Will the Morrison government accept the findings of the IPCC and change Australia's disastrous climate policy settings?
I thank Senator Waters for her question. It is correct, as I understand it, that, overnight Australian time, or thereabouts, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will release its Sixth assessment report, which will provide an update on the latest physical science on climate change, including rates, causes and likely future trajectories in relation to climate change. The report, I understand, will be released at 6 pm Australian time.
Australian scientists, as part of Commonwealth contributions, have made significant contributions to the science underpinning the report. Our government looks forward to receiving that report, to its public release and to its informing future deliberations, particularly those that will take place at the Glasgow Conference of the Parties later this year. The government of course continues to work on the pursuit of climate action that is effective and targeted, particularly targeted on developing the technologies that have enabled Australia to meet and exceed our Kyoto targets—our Kyoto 1 target, our Kyoto 2 target—and to put us on track to meet our Paris targets as well.
Investing in those technologies has enabled us to not see a tax based approach but to see a technology based approach which has Australia as a world-leading nation when it comes to the adoption of renewable technologies and has Australia as a world-leading nation when it comes to a track record of making commitments—and not just making those commitments but seeing them through. Seeing them through and delivering upon them is what is particularly important in that regard. That's what we're doing in relation to Paris, and that's what we will do in relation to all future commitments as well.
Will your government follow the science and at least double Australia's 2030 targets so that they are at levels aligned with the rest of the developed world? Or will you keep Australia on track for four degrees of warming and all the devastation that comes with that?
The Australian Greens do like to, as always, talk down Australia, and they do that in terms of the targets that we commit to as a nation as well. The simple fact is that achieving our 2030 targets will see emissions per capita in Australia fall by almost half if we achieve those 2030 targets, as we are on track to do. Emissions per unit of GDP would fall by almost two-thirds under our commitment scenario.
Our commitments are significant, and they're significant as well because of our history of emissions reduction and of meeting those targets. Our emissions have fallen by 20 per cent since 2005. We beat our Kyoto-era targets by 459 million tonnes. Between 2005 and 2019 Australia reduced emissions faster than many other nations and will continue to do that through the technology based approach. (Time expired)
How much in donations from the coal, oil and gas sector will the Liberal and National parties expect to be able to receive by the end of the decade if the Morrison government continues to refuse to lift its 2030 targets and to put the safety and prosperity of all Australians in peril?
There comes the political question from the Greens, who try to present sincerity on these topics but then of course can't help but make them politicised agendas of the Greens. Political donations are published. They're there on the public record for all to see, and of course the hypocrisy that comes from the Greens in relation to their historical track record on political donations—happily accepting big donations themselves and so on—is equally there on the public record for all to see. So, we're not going to simply take that hypocrisy from the Greens. I'm going to take equally their attacks on the jobs of many Australians in their targeting of different industries and different sectors. What we're investing in are the stretch targets in different industry sectors that will enable Australia to transition in ways that protect Australian jobs, that get emissions down and that also protect the jobs of hardworking Australians across this country and generate new jobs for them in the future. (Time expired)