Angus Taylor calls for Labor to submit to Coalition on emissions target

federal energy minister angus taylor claims the government has a mandate on its climate policies
Federal energy minister Angus Taylor claims the government has a mandate on its climate policies. Photograph: Dan Himbrechts/AAP

Energy minister effectively demands Labor back away from stronger emissions reduction target of 45%

— Angus Taylor has reiterated his calls for Labor to back the government’s climate policies, saying the opposition had to “decide whether they want to join us”.

The energy and emissions reduction minister was referring to the Coalition’s 26%-28% emissions reduction target, a policy much less ambitious than the 45% target Labor took to the election and one that is not aligned with the ultimate aim of the Paris agreement, which is to limit global heating to no more than 2°C.

“We’re not lacking ambition here,” Taylor told Sky on Tuesday. “Now the key is to deliver.

“[The] crucial issue here is will Labor join us so we’ve got bipartisanship on this? It will make a huge difference.”

Earlier, he told the Sydney Morning Herald the government had a mandate to implement the climate policies it took to the election.

Taylor has effectively asked the opposition to back away from its policy of stronger climate action from Australia and “agree to the 26% target”.

“We took that to the election, we won the election, let’s get on with it, let’s deliver, there’s an opportunity for Labor to join us and that there be bipartisanship on this crucial issue,” he said. “We’d like to have their support. I think it’s important.”

In his interview with Sky, Taylor said: “We’re going to meet our international obligations as we did our Kyoto 1 obligations in 2010, we’ll meet our Kyoto 2 obligations easily in 2020 and of course we will again for Paris in 2030. That’s what we’ve consistently done”.

What the government repeatedly fails to mention when it talks about Australia’s targets under the Kyoto protocol is that under the first phase of the Kyoto agreement Australia chose a target that allowed it to increase its emissions.

Australia’s emissions have been rising since the repeal of the carbon price.

Taylor also said the government had “laid out to the last tonne” how it planned to meet its Paris targets. But the government’s own documentation for its climate solutions package contains no such clarity on how it will achieve the abatement necessary.

For instance, it projects there will be about 100m tonnes of carbon abatement from unspecified “technology improvements and other sources of abatement”. And it is relying on about 10m tonnes of abatement to come from an as-yet undeveloped electric vehicles strategy.

Labor’s new leader, Anthony Albanese, meanwhile, is travelling to Queensland, where voters turned away from the party and where the Adani Carmichael coalmine has been a divisive force.

Last week the Queensland Labor government announced a series of deadlines for some of the outstanding approvals the mine needs to proceed. But Albanese told the ABC on Tuesday it would ultimately be the market that determined whether the project went ahead.

“The important point there is it’s not up to the government to determine that, it’s up to markets themselves,” he said. “What it’s up to government to do is to give environmental approvals. That’s happened of course at the federal level, at the state level it’s being considered.

“One of the things that has occurred over a period of time is that the company itself … have not met a range of timelines that they’ve put forward but we will see what decisions the company makes once the approvals are either made or not made by the Queensland government.”


by Lisa Cox | The Guardian

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