CANBERRA, AAP – Scott Morrison has spoken about the difficulty of getting some Liberal and National colleagues to agree to a plan to achieve net zero emissions.
The prime minister continues to equivocate on whether he will attend United Nations climate talks in Glasgow at the end of this month.
International partners are heaping pressure on Australia to not just agree to net zero by 2050 but to strengthen mid-term emissions reduction targets as well.
Mr Morrison said “difficult conversations” about climate policies within the coalition were ongoing weeks out from the COP26 summit in Scotland.
“We can’t avoid these difficult questions and it does require a lot of debate internally to work it through together,” he told the Nine Network on Tuesday.
“What I’m doing is working to bring the government together on a clear plan to reduce emissions, transition to this new economy which is coming and make sure that Australia is not left in an uncompetitive position.”
An increasing number of Nationals are coming around to net zero by 2050, but holdouts include Senator Matt Canavan as well as cabinet minister Bridget McKenzie.
NSW state Liberal MP Andrew Constance thinks everyone is fed up with political fighting over climate action as he prepares to contest pre-selection for the federal seat of Gilmore.
“I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that we never ever see the type of fire storm events that we saw (in 2019-20),” he told ABC radio.
The moderate Liberal and current member for Bega, which was hit hard by the ‘black summer’ fires, welcomed the Nationals’ desire to ensure adequate support for farmers with a climate target.
“That said, though, we can’t forget the human face and the human impact of climate change because we’re experiencing it ourselves,” Mr Constance said.
“One of my passions for running federally and seeking Liberal Party pre-selection is to ensure that we have people who have experienced the true human impact of these (things).”
Meanwhile, Think tank Rewiring Australia says broader use of household solar, batteries and electric vehicles will save Australian households an average of $5000 a year on power, appliance and car costs by 2050.
It would also cut domestic emissions by a third and give Australia room to improve on its 2030 emissions reduction target.
The government committed to reducing emissions between 26 and 28 per cent below 2005 levels under the 2015 Paris accord.