Speeches

ENERGY AND EMISSIONS REDUCTION

November 09, 2020

It's always interesting to witness the so-called Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction talking about energy policies, because the great thing with this minister is that if you don't like his current policy another one will soon come along. They are on 22 energy policies since they've come into power. Twenty-two! In fact, they had four energy policies in 14 days in one period, which is spectacular. The truth is that this is another thought bubble from a government that is out of ideas. The so-called technology road map is lacking completely in commitments. At estimates two weeks ago, evidence from the department said not to confuse commitments with projections. It is yet another thought bubble from this government.

I'm glad the minister talked about 2020 and how they're going to hit the emissions reduction target. I've got the government's own documents here that show how they're going to hit 2020. They're going to hit 2020 by killing manufacturing; reducing fuel consumption in the manufacturing sector—that is, chasing away the auto sector—and reducing petrol consumption in the transport sector, because economic growth is so slow that we don't carry as many goods as we used to; and because of the drought. Let me repeat: how will they hit 2020? By killing manufacturing, by killing economic growth and through the ongoing drought. That is how they hit 2020. What a joke.

How will they hit their so-called 2030 target? First, lower electricity demand—again, because they've killed manufacturing. Second, growth in renewable energy due to state government commitments. It's their own document saying this. It's not them doing anything on renewable energy; it is state government commitments driving increased renewable energy. That still leaves them only 16 per cent below 2005 levels. They need to do another 10 per cent to even hit their own inadequate target. And that brings in the illegal Kyoto carryover units—illegal because no other country recognises them. They don't exist in the Paris treaty at all. They only hit 16 per cent through killing manufacturing. They then use another 10 per cent by illegal Kyoto carryover units that no other government will accept.

This neglects the other great truth, that they don't have a 2050 net zero emissions objective, which is what the Paris accord signs up to.

With the election of the Joe Biden government in America, we now have 70 per cent of our trading partnerships with countries that have committed to net zero emissions by 2050 or shortly thereafter. Over 60 per cent of the world's emissions are covered by those countries. We are left as a pariah state under this government because this government will not commit to the 2050 net zero emissions target, which is what they signed up to with the Paris accord. What are the implications for Australia because of their criminal negligence in climate policy? We are facing—

The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Wallace):  Order! The member for Shortland will resume his seat. The member for Shortland cannot impute criminal assertions on members opposite. The member for Shortland will withdraw that statement.

Mr CONROY:  I withdraw. But I said 'criminal negligence'. That is not criminality.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER:  The member for Shortland will withdraw the statement.

Mr CONROY:  I withdraw. This government is recklessly indifferent to the future of this country. They are negligent and they need protection from people to cover up the fact they are not committed to taking action on climate change. We will face carbon border adjustments and we'll face border tariffs that will kill our export industries, because this government does nothing. The EU has foreshadowed it. The Biden party has already foreshadowed it. The member for Dawson may not accept that Biden will soon be the US president, but everyone else does. They have been very open in saying that they will not allow countries a free ride, which is what will happen under this government because of their lack of a net zero emissions target. Not only does it make good science sense to sign up to net zero emissions; it makes good economic sense because we will face border tariff adjustments and we'll miss out on the opportunities of becoming a renewable energy superpower, all under a government that have had 22 energy policies and lie to workers about what is going on. They lie to workers about the change that is coming down the line and they lie to workers by saying they don't need to do anything. In the end, they betray the future of those workers, they betray the workers in regions like mine, they continue to lie about climate policy, they betray the future of this country, and they should be ashamed.

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