Anthony Albanese says Peter Dutton ‘worse than Scott Morrison’ on climate

Anthony Albanese has criticized Peter Dutton as “worse than Scott Morrison on climate change” after the Coalition signaled it will not support the Labor government’s net zero emissions target by 2030.

The opposition leader confirmed that, if elected, he would abolish Labour’s legislative target to reduce emissions by 43% by 2030 and focus on nuclear energy to reach net zero by 2050.

The decision would put Australia at odds with its legally binding targets under the 2015 Paris Agreement, in which nearly 200 countries committed to their own plans to reduce planet-warming emissions.

Speaking in Canberra on Monday morning, the Prime Minister said that when Labor legislated Australia’s 2030 target, the aim was to create certainty for business, certainty for investment, certainty for jobs.

“Peter Dutton is walking away from climate action,” Albanese said.

“His decision to abandon the 2030 target means he is moving away from the Paris Agreement. If you walk away from the Paris Agreement, you will be siding with Libya and Yemen and Iran and against all of our major trading partners and all of our important allies.”

Under the Paris Agreement, countries excluding Iran, Libya and Yemen have promised to limit the increase in the earth’s global average temperature to “well below” 2 degrees and commit to staying at 1.5 degrees Celsius .

“Peter Dutton never believed in action on climate change and the Coalition was a disaster,” Albanese said.

“For 10 years they had 22 policies and didn’t take out one. We had a policy, we got it. You can’t shape the future if you’re afraid of it, and Peter Dutton is afraid of the future, and incapable of leading Australia into the future we need.

“Peter Dutton is worse than Scott Morrison on climate change. It’s all negativity and no plan. And what we’ve seen for two years now under Peter Dutton is a reluctance to announce any policy.”

But the Liberal Party has insisted it will not leave the Paris Agreement on climate change and remains committed to delivering on the Coalition’s pledge to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

“If we do that, we will grow the economy, not shrink it as Labor is doing,” Dutton said.

“There will be a big difference between me and the Prime Minister in the next election. Mr. Albanese e [Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris] Bowen will promise higher electricity prices, blackouts and an energy policy that will push production and jobs abroad.

“As Prime Minister I will work day and night to lower electricity prices and to make electricity reliable and cleaner. Jobs are slowly destroying the economy.”

Scientists have warned that if global temperatures rise above current levels, dangers from severe floods, fires, droughts and heatwaves could become unmanageable.

Albanese insisted Australia was “on the right path”.

“We will produce information every year. And new policies will be added,” she said.

“In the last two years we have had a record number of solar panels installed on roofs. We have companies that come to see me, through that door, companies like Rio Tinto and others that are transforming the way they engage in advanced manufacturing.

“So, I’m very confident not only that we can get there but, more importantly, that we have to get there. This is not an academic exercise about whether, you know, Souths are going to win their third game in a row next Friday – which is important – but it’s about our environment, it’s about our way of life, it’s about natural disasters.

“And for a country like Australia, so susceptible to cyclones, floods and bushfires, there are economic consequences of not moving forward as part of a global community. And if Australia also backed out, there would be consequences for our relationship too.”

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