CANBERRA, AAP – Barnaby Joyce wants to keep giving the world coal because he doesn’t think there’s much prospect of Australia finding a new source of revenue anytime soon.
The Nationals leaders does not back a target of net zero emissions by 2050, indicating the government needed to explain its impact on regional Australia.
“In any deal, I don’t start by saying what I think it’s worth, I start by saying how much do you want it,” Mr Joyce told the National Press Club on Friday.
The deputy prime minister also said he didn’t want to be bullied or berated into accepting unequivocally the latest findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
“It sounds like you’re at a baptism, on behalf of your child, denouncing Satan and all his works and all his deeds and on and on it goes,” Mr Joyce told one reporter.
The IPCC report shows the world is on track for 1.5C of heating by early next decade without immediate, drastic and sustained emissions cuts.
Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and US deputy climate envoy Jonathan Pershing are among international figures labelling Australia out of step with comparable economies.
But Mr Joyce said countries like the US and UK could better afford climate action because they had more diverse economies than Australia.
“You have to substantiate – not just muse, not just hope for – but substantiate an alternate income source and this nation hasn’t done it, and there’s no prospect in the near future that is going to happen,” he said.
“If it does happen, it will happen in parallel.”
Australia’s emissions for the year to March dropped by 27.8 million tonnes, or 5.3 per cent, because of cleaner energy and far fewer people driving or flying during lockdowns.
The country committed in 2015 to reducing emissions between 26 and 28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030.
It is yet to update those commitments ahead of UN climate talks in Glasgow scheduled for October 31.