Nationals concede to government’s net zero plan

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

The Nationals have agreed to support the federal government’s net zero by 2050 plans, however, they are yet to announce the finer details of the agreement that will supposedly save regional jobs.

Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce told media he supports the government’s plan.

“One hundred per cent I’m on board with the goal of 2050 net-zero emissions, what more do you want?” he told ABC Radio on Monday.

“Each one of us agreed to the process, we never would have had to go into the negotiation process if the Nationals were 100 per cent happy with where the proposition was.”

The Nationals party room on Sunday agreed for a cabinet submission to go forward, ahead of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s attendance at COP26 in Glasgow on October 31.

Related article: Nationals’ net zero demands include new coal-fired power station

The Nationals gave their “in principle” support to the government’s policy, saying further details would be revealed about the party’s negotiations to save regional jobs.

While there is speculation the Nationals could gain an extra seat in cabinet, Mr Joyce said that was a decision for the prime minister.

Despite the Nationals reaching agreement, some MPs and senators continue to publicly criticise the proposal.

Queensland senator Matt Canavan said the deal was bad for the country.

“Net zero is going to end in tears,” he told the Nine Network.

“I don’t think this is the right approach for this country. It’s a fantasy to think we can remove all carbon emissions.”

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