Labor excludes post-election climate deal and rejects coalition fear campaign | Australian politics
The Australian opposition has tried to tone down a coalition fear campaign by ruling out the negotiation of a stronger emissions reduction target if next year’s elections result in an unoccupied parliament.
Senior Labor frontbencher Chris Bowen said his party had âpaid a high priceâ in the âclimate warsâ over the past decade and that a key task for a new Albanian government was to end âdestructiveâ policies on the issue .
Labor’s climate and energy spokesman said the party pledged to cut emissions by 43% by 2030, as “can be achieved if you take office in 2022” – compared to the Abbott-era coalition’s goal of 26 to 28% compared to 2005.
Since Prime Minister Scott Morrison tried to portray the Labor pledge only as an “opening offer” for by-election talks with the Greens, Bowen specifically ruled out such changes.
When asked whether the 43 percent target was negotiable in order to secure support in the House of Commons or in the Senate, Bowen replied, “No.”
Several studies have suggested that Australia should cut at least 50%, and almost certainly significantly more, this decade to do its part in managing the crisis.
“Of course we are driven by science, but we are also driven by what is achievable in 2022 to reach a goal by 2030,” Bowen told the National Press Club in Canberra on Monday.
The analysis shows that despite the improved emission reduction commitments from a number of countries in Glasgow, the world is still on track to exceed the target of pursuing efforts to limit global warming to 1.5 Â° C above pre-industrial levels.
Urged when asked whether Labor would be willing to consider a higher target for even stronger action in response to international momentum, Bowen stated that the newly announced policy “is what we will implement and legislate”.
To avoid certain future commitments, he said a Labor government would then set a target for 2035 “at an appropriate time”.
Pacific island nation leaders view climate change as an existential threat and have urged the Australian government to take far stronger measures by 2030, including curbing coal.
Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, on a visit to Palau on Friday, told Guardian Australia that Australia’s goal of net zero by 2050 was “ambitious” and admitted that the issue was “of great concern to the Pacific”.
Although the Australian government has not officially increased its Abbott-era target by 2030, Payne cited the forecast that emissions could be cut by up to 35% by 2030. She also said she wanted to share low-emission technologies with the region.
When asked if the dilution of language in the final Glasgow communique was a monumental failure and a blow to the Pacific, Payne said cop meetings are “always a challenge.”
“Nobody gets everything they want,” Payne said.
âBut I think the presence of the Pacific countries – and I know it is no small matter to travel from Palau to Glasgow in the middle of a global pandemic – the presence of Palau and other Pacific nations was extremely important to act I think . “As a very clear sign for the rest of the world what the Pacific thinks is important.”
“Australians tired of climate wars”
Morrison tried unsuccessfully to raise Australia’s 2030 target in the run-up to the Cop26 summit in Glasgow in November, but that idea was rejected by the National Party.
With the Australian general election in May, the Prime Minister has tried to characterize the Labor plan as a threat to jobs and “unsafe”.
Morrison fought on Monday alongside Liberal MP Dave Sharma, who has been pushing for the coalition to raise its medium-term goals and who is facing a challenge from climate-minded independent candidate Allegra Spender.
The Prime Minister said the 43% target was “just Labor’s opening offer”.
“I mean, in order for Labor to be able to legislate if they wanted to form a government, they would have to do so with the support of the Greens,” said Morrison when launching a pro-recycling campaign.
âAnd you know what the Greens’ goal is, it’s 75%. So vote for Labor, you vote for the Greens and you vote for the goals of the Greens. “
Bowen said the coalition’s first instinct in responding to Labor’s climate policy on Friday was to encourage the split “since it is in their political interest to keep climate wars going”.
He said Monday it was time for Australia to turn the page on “toxic climate policies of the past decade” and seize the opportunity to become “a superpower for renewable energy”.
“The Australian people, exhausted from the last decade, especially the last two years of climate wars, deserve so much more than that,” he said.
“You deserve a government with concrete plans and an intention to unite – not divide – Australians on this most important journey.”
Bowen said Labor is seeking an electoral mandate for its approach to climate change as a “first step in building national unity”.
He said he wanted to be “very clear” that there would be “no coal-fired plant closings due to Labor policies” – some closings had already been announced and it was ultimately up to the market to determine.
Decisions about the future of Australian coal and gas exports would be made “in the boardrooms in Tokyo, Beijing, New York, New Delhi, London” and not in the Australian cabinet.
Bowen said Australia’s exports are coming under pressure as the world is decarbonized and it is important to support affected communities and invest in job diversification “so that young people entering the labor market … have a choice “.
When asked about the gas in the Northern Territory’s Beetaloo Basin, Bowen said Labor “supported exploration, which I believe is an appropriate measure” – but whether that gas was extracted is primarily a matter for the NT government.
Green chairman Adam Bandt said Monday: âWith Labor agreeing with Liberals on more coal and gas, it is clear that the only way to get climate action is to kick the Liberals out and the Greens in Bringing a balance of power urge the next government to listen to science. “