Wednesday, 27 July 2022
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Leader of the Government in the Senate and the Minister representing the Minister for Climate Change and Energy. The International Energy Agency has said that not one new coal or gas project can be opened up if we are to stabilise temperatures at 1½ degrees, or even if we are to reach the government target of net zero by 2050. Will the government continue the Morrison government's policy of subsidising new coal and gas projects with public money?
No, it's my arm and a broken shoulder, mate. So have at the joke! I do understand that in relation to coal there is a difference between the Greens political party and others in this chamber, and that there is a difference between the position the Greens articulate and the position that is adopted by the international community under the UNFCCC, where the contribution of nations to the objective of reducing emissions is predicated on reducing one's domestic emissions. I think it is the case that under the government that we've seen over the last 10 years we saw 22 energy policies. None were adopted, because there is obviously a strong view within the party room contesting the issue of climate, which we still see. But the reality is that the Labor government was elected with a very clear commitment to reduce emissions for Australia by 43 per cent by 2030. That is the position we are taking.
I know you have raised this issue of a moratorium publicly. It has been your political position for some time. It is a position that the Greens political party have been putting forward for some time. I understand that is your position. The position of the government is that we are taking a far more—
The burning and extracting of coal and gas is the biggest cause of the climate crisis, which threatens all Australians. Given the first responsibility of government is to keep its citizens safe, why is the government supporting opening 114 new coal and gas projects which will turbocharge floods and bushfires?
The government is being consistent with the commitments it took to the election and the commitments that the Australian people were well aware of when they voted in the election which led to the result of an Albanese Labor government.
We will reduce Australia's emissions by 43 per cent by 2030. It is an ambitious target. It has a range of very positive consequences, including that around 82 per cent of our electricity grid will be powered by renewables by the same time. In relation to those projects, they will be assessed in accordance with the relevant environmental approval frameworks. That is also the position the Labor government and the Labor Party took to the last election.
I understand this is a political campaigning issue for the Greens. I saw that—
Well, I'm really tempted to take that interjection, but I will not. I'm not sure which rebate arrangement or other tax arrangement the Leader of the Greens in the Senate is going to—
Honourable senators interjecting—
I'm not sure which arrangements the Greens leader is referring to. If she wants to indicate to me a particular rebate that she is asking whether the government has a view about, I will certainly refer that to the Treasurer. I would anticipate— (Time expired)