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No 2030 target risks harming international standing: PM

PM lashes Dutton climate plan

Source: Sky News Australia

Opposition plans to walk back from 2030 emission reduction targets would risk Australia’s international standing, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says.

The Coalition has come out against the government’s target of a 43 per cent reduction by the end of the decade, with Opposition Leader Peter Dutton under pressure to reveal his target before the next election.

On Tuesday, Dutton said any Coalition targets for 2030 would be revealed only after it won the next election.

“This is an extraordinary failure of leadership from Peter Dutton. It shows he’s not up to the job of being the alternative prime minister of this country,” Albanese said.

“What Peter Dutton is saying is that he won’t have a 2030 target, he won’t tell you what he will do before the election.”

Albanese said committed targets were necessary for leadership in the Pacific region.

“Pacific nations regard action on climate change as the entry fee for credibility and for engagement in our region,” he said on Wednesday.

“For places like Tuvalu and Kiribati, it is literally an existential threat to their ongoing existence.”

But Dutton said the current targets of 43 per cent had sent a “wrecking ball through the economy”.

“We have had a sensible approach, a measured approach. We want to get our country back on track. We want to make sure that we’ve got an energy policy that’s working for Australians, not against them,” he said in Sydney.

“I’m not going to sign up to an arrangement that destroys our economy and sends families and small businesses into bankruptcy. I’m just not going to do that.”

Albanese hit out at the lack of clarity surrounding the Coalition’s emission reduction plans, saying there was no certainty for global targets.

“It’s a bit like someone getting on a plane … on one of those mystery flights. You don’t know where you’re going to go, you don’t know what the destination is,” he said.

Dutton’s announcement has also split the Coalition, with former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce and MP Keith Pitt calling for the 2030 Paris climate agreement targets to be dumped. On the other side, maverick Tasmanian Liberal Bridget Archer said the Coalition should be clear about its climate targets ahead of the next election.

“The current targets are already legislated. They are the targets,” she told the ABC.

“If we were planning to change that I think it would be reasonable to put it to the Australian people at an election.

“Of course, I also think it would be a regressive step.”

David Littleproud on Paris targets

Source: ABC TV

Nationals leader David Littleproud said Australia would not opt out of the Paris agreement, signed by the former Coalition government in 2015. But he said the 2030 target was unsustainable.

“There’s never been any country asked to achieve the reductions by 2030, that would destroy any economy, and that’s happening to our economy at the moment,” he told ABC TV on Wednesday.

“The 2030 target is a moot point … Australians need to understand that Australia will not achieve that.”

Opposition energy spokesman Ted O’Brien said the federal government target was unlikely to be met.

“Right now, there is Buckley’s chance we can achieve 43 per cent,” he told Sydney radio station 2GB.

Forecasts released by the Climate Change Authority in December showed Australia remained on track for a 42 per cent reduction in emissions. Subsequent policies such as production tax credits for critical minerals are expected to make up the remaining 1 per cent.

Greens leader Adam Bandt said the debate about 2030 targets was little more than hot air.

“Neither Labor nor Liberal targets meet the Paris agreement climate goals. And instead of a confected debate about something Peter Dutton won’t even have the power to do, we should focus on what the science demands and stop opening new coal and gas mines,” he said.

“Neither Liberal nor Labor are committed to the Paris goal of keeping global warming below 2 degrees, let alone 1.5, and both want more coal and gas mines.”

Dutton said he was confident the Coalition’s energy policy could win back inner-city electorates at the next election. But independent MP Zoe Daniel said there was still community backlash.

“There is a view in an electorate like mine that if [people] want strong accountability on climate, it’s going to come from the crossbench, not from the two major parties,” she said.

Daniel’s electorate takes in affluent suburbs in bayside Melbourne and was previously held by the Liberals’ Tim Wilson. He has been preselected again for the next election.

Dutton hit out on Wednesday at the idea that so-called “teal independent” MPs such as Daniel were “disaffected Liberals”.

“I think we can win those seats back. We have to, for the sake of our country, because I don’t believe Australians can afford three more years of the Albanese government,” he said.

Another teal MP in Melbourne, Monique Ryan, also took aim at Dutton’s plans on Tuesday.

“He’s thinking of a number… but we have to guess it,” the Kooyong MP posted on X.

-with AAP

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