Molan, The Greens (Climate Trigger) Bill 2020, is not a workable
Senator Jim Molan BILLS – Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Climate Trigger) Bill 2020: Senator McAllister says that this bill, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Climate Trigger) Bill 2020, is not a workable strategy being put up by the Greens, who are into the moral absolutism of climate wars. This is something which makes great sense to me. We have a situation where we on this side of the parliament are criticised for the simple fact that it is perceived that we are broken. We are not broken. Every time I hear dysfunctional talk of a dysfunctional group, I think of the Otis group on coal and of the coal documents of 2016 which are in the media at the moment.
Certainly, as the Greens and the member for Warringah are aware but continually deny, we in the coalition are acting on climate change now. We don’t just talk; we don’t sit back and debate irrational triggers. We are well past that. I personally am strongly committed not only to acting on climate change but also to adapting to a hotter, drier climate. Both are important. Unlike the Greens and the member for Warringah, we put the focus on mitigating risk and adapting rather than on taking a closed-mind, ideological view and mouthing naive, uncosted, feel-good statements, backed up in certain circumstances by bullying and abuse.
Net zero emissions, mentioned by Senator McAllister, need to be justified and costed, not just mouthed. There is no economic case to do so, and the reduction in emissions, if it occurs, could have no impact on the world climate. Let’s not forget that China has somewhere between 1,032 and 2,400 coal-fired power stations and is building 126 more. Japan has 90 coal-fired power stations and is building somewhere between 22 and 45 more, depending on the source.
At the last election, the government took a clear plan to the Australian people to responsibly reduce Australia’s carbon dioxide emissions, consistent with our international commitments. We as a government remain committed to this plan. I personally remain committed to this policy as a prudent policy and I know that reducing emissions will be accompanied by rock-solid policies to adapt to a hotter and a drier continent. This government-led Australia to beat its first Kyoto target by 128 million tonnes. We’re projected to beat our 2020 target by 411 million tonnes. Our 2030 Paris target reduces emissions by 26 to 28 per cent, on 2005 levels, by 2030. Over this period we will halve the amount of emissions per Australian. On a per-capita basis, our emissions reductions will be greater than those of many comparable countries, including the European Union, Canada, Japan and Korea.
This is an ambitious but responsible emissions reduction target for 2030. We will meet it and we intend to beat it. The latest emission projections already show we are on track to do so. We do not need triggers. But, as you quite well know but are ignoring because it doesn’t match certain ideologies, Australia cannot cut global emissions in isolation. The development and deployment of new technologies will be essential to reducing emissions, both here and around the world, while creating jobs. Our focus is on improving existing technologies and adopting new technologies, not taxes. We do not support the introduction of a carbon tax. We do not support driving up electricity prices and we do not support plans that will abandon the jobs of many regional Australians and make emissions reductions unsustainable.
That’s why, working closely with industry, researchers and international partners, we are developing a technology investment road map, to focus our investment on driving down the cost of low-emissions technology, as recently forecast by Minister Taylor. It will also guide us as we seek to deploy new technology as rapidly as possible, to reduce emissions both at home and overseas. That road map will position Australia to contribute to and take advantage of global technologies. It will set a framework for our investment in emissions-reducing technologies over the short period, to 2022; the medium period, to 2030; and the long term, to 2050. This builds on what we’re already doing to drive down emissions, including the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which brings down the cost of renewable energy; the $1 billion Grid Reliability Fund, to promote investment in battery and pumped hydro renewable energy storage; our $500 million hydrogen strategy, to position us as a key player in the emerging green hydrogen economy; and our soon-to-be-released electric vehicles strategy, to accelerate the modernisation of our transport fleet.
Let me summarise by saying that Australia’s emissions are coming down. In fact, Australia’s emissions are lower now than when the coalition came to government in 2013. Australia’s emissions are more than 12 per cent lower than in 2005. This compares to a two per cent reduction for Canada and a four per cent increase for New Zealand over the same period. Let’s mitigate risk. Where risks cannot be mitigated, we must adapt. Those impacted by the recent bushfires want practical measures and not the mouthing of ideologies.