Net Zero Emissions - 11/02/2020

11 February 2020



I call on the government to commit to getting Australia to net zero emissions by 2050. The Prime Minister has said that he will not commit to that target if he can't tell the Australian people what it will cost, but what is blatantly clear to everyone except this government is the cost of inaction. Australians are crying out for leadership on climate action, particularly after this horrific summer of fires and now floods. Zero emissions by 2050 is the minimum we need to limit warming to below two degrees Celsius. In fact, the survival of our Pacific neighbours depends on limiting that to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius. Boris Johnson has urged other nations to commit to zero by 2050, and yesterday, right here in this parliament, Joko Widodo called on Australia to do more.

The fact is that the government's own data shows that we're not on track to even meet the target of a reduction of five per cent by 2020. In fact, Australia will have a pathetic reduction of 0.3 per cent. On this trajectory, it will take 230 years to get to zero. This government is deeply irresponsible to ignore this. Those opposite also need to recognise the opportunities to come from investing in renewables. As Ross Garnaut outlines in his book Superpower, if Australia rises to the challenge of climate change, it will emerge as a global superpower in energy, low-carbon industry and absorption of carbon in the landscape. I call on the government to stop ignoring the science, stop ignoring the global community and stop ignoring— (Time expired)