Patricia Karvelas grills Barnaby Joyce on climate as Nationals disagree on net zero
ABC host Patricia Karvelas has grilled Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce over what it will take for his party to reach an agreement on net zero emissions, with just a week to go until a crucial global climate summit.
Nationals MPs will meet again on Sunday – the fifth time in just over a week – after Prime Minister Scott Morrison has considered their list of demands in exchange for supporting his climate change plan.
Mr Morrison is due to attend the United Nations COP26 conference in Glasgow on October 31, where he will be under considerable international pressure to commit Australia to a target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
The Nationals are expected to ask Mr Morrison to promise more funds for regional Australia to secure a deal on climate policy, but a reticent Mr Joyce wouldn’t be drawn on the specifics of their “wishlist” on Friday.
Appearing on the ABC, the deputy prime minister told Ms Karvelas the potential net zero emissions deal with the Liberals was “not done by a long shot” but rejected claims his party was “grandstanding”.
Ms Karvelas asked him how optimistic he was that there would be a deal reached by the end of Monday.
“Well, I’m one person in the party room,” Mr Joyce replied.
Mr Karvelas said, “Well, you are the leader.”
Mr Joyce said it was up to the party room to decide.
Nationals Senate leader Bridget McKenzie said earlier this week “it will get ugly” if Mr Morrison adopts a net zero emissions target without the support of the Nationals.
Asked about those comments on Friday, Mr Joyce said he didn’t “know whether it’s going to get ugly or not”.
He doubled down on the Nationals’ longstanding claims that a commitment to net zero emissions by 2050 will cost regional communities more than people living in the cities.
“What I do know is (that) if we get it wrong, it is going to have effects on Muswellbrook, which it will never, ever have on Balmain or Chippendale,” he said.
“They’ve got members who represent them and no doubt they will go into bat if they decide … to close down the Sydney Harbour Bridge and shut off the air conditioners and close off the lifts.”
Ms Karvelas replied, “Hang on a minute, none of those things are going to happen.”
Mr Joyce claimed Australia would be reduced to a “very poor people in the South Pacific” without the contribution of coal mines to the national economy.
“If we don’t have coal mines continuing, we don’t have money for such things as the ABC, hospitals and roads, he said.
“Every time they get an NDIS supplement or a drug or a pension, are you going to be a fan of the resource industry … Any sort of noble rage against the minerals industry is really screaming to be poorer.”
Originally published as Patricia Karvelas grills Barnaby Joyce on climate as Nationals disagree on net zero
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