Guest essay by Eric Worrall
The National Party, Australia’s junior ruling coalition partners, have challenged Aussie PM Scott Morrison to identify which cuts to government expenditure he will make, if Australia agrees to shut down our $60 billion per year coal export industry at COP26.
Deputy Speaker warns PM not to blindside Nationals as climate talks heat up
The Deputy Speaker of Australia’s House of Representatives has warned Prime Minister Scott Morrison not to blindside the Nationals party room in an effort to lock in a plan to cut carbon emissions.
- Llew O’Brien says he will not back any plan to cut carbon emissions unless it benefits his electorate
- He warned the PM against trying to pressure the Nationals into supporting such a plan ahead of this month’s major climate summit
- His Wide Bay electorate includes the Noosa Shire where the council has declared a climate emergency
Mr Morrison is negotiating with the Nationals over how the government plans to meet a net-zero target by 2050, ahead of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow later this month.
‘Which hospital do you want shut?’
Mr O’Brien said if a carbon emissions target put the resources industry at risk it could make those things harder to fund.
“If any agreement is looking at getting rid of those sources of revenue, I would say to those people, ‘Show me where the money is going to come from,’ or ‘Which hospital do you want to close down?’,” he said.
“I would be an irresponsible local member if I was committing to anything without seeing all of the detail and ensuring that anything that we signed up for was going to benefit the people of Wide Bay more than the people of Berlin or Paris or Stockholm.”
The Nationals have left the door open to an agreement, which I find a little disturbing. Nevertheless, even at this late stage, there is still a very good chance Australia will be the party pooper at the COP26 climate conference, despite Prince Charles telling Australia this is our last chance to save the world.