Barnaby Joyce digs heels in over net zero by 2050 plan

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce sitting in parliament (Nationals net zero)
Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce

Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce says his party won’t be “forced into a corner” on the government’s proposed pathway to net zero emissions by 2050 in the lead up to COP26, according to the ABC.

The Nationals were presented with the government’s climate change plan yesterday, but failed to come to a decision after four hours of discussions.

Related article: Queensland backs Net Zero by 2050 target

Prime Minister Scott Morrison hopes to be able to commit to a net zero by 2050 plan before the United Nations climate change conference, COP26, begins in Glasgow at the end of this month, however, Joyce said the Nationals would not be forced to make a decision by the deadline.

“I’m not going to give a time constraint to it,” Mr Joyce said.

“Sometimes if you starting giving time constraints you will get one answer if people are not completely comfortable, and I don’t think that is the answer people want.

“If someone believes they are being forced into a corner, you know what they are going to do, they are going to say no.”

Shadow Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen said the Nationals had already been given years to settle on a climate plan.

“Eight years in office, 21 energy policies, weeks before the most important climate change conference we’ve seen and the government doesn’t know what its policy is,” Bowen said.

“They have been engaged in eight years of denial and delay.

“Every Australian is entitled to be frustrated … and rural and regional Australians have a particular right to be angry, because rural and regional Australia will pay the price for unchecked climate change.”

Related article: Councils join to lobby government on climate action

Bowen said the 2050 target should be legislated and that medium-term targets should be increased.

“We actually want to give the government a chance to get this right … and see if we can give them bipartisan support.”

Read the full article here.

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