Labor blasts Peter Dutton’s threat to withdraw from 2030 climate targets

Eleanor Campbell NCA NewsWire
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Camera IconNot Supplied Credit: News Corp Australia

Peter Dutton’s vow to axe Australia’s 2030 climate emissions target has been attacked, with a senior government minister warning the Opposition Leader was a ‘real risk’.

Mr Dutton said he would scrap Labor’s legislated target for 43 per cent emissions reduction by 2030 at the federal election due by May next year and focus on nuclear energy to reach net zero by 2050.

The decision would place Australia at odds with its legal commitments under the 2015 Paris Agreement where nearly 200 countries committed to their own plans to reduce planet-warming emissions.

“I think any Australian who thinks climate change is real would think now that Peter Dutton is a real risk – a risk to investment, a risk to jobs, a risk that Australia will do nothing to tackle climate change,” he told Sky’s Sunday Agenda.

Camera IconCoalition leader Peter Dutton told the Weekend Australian he wants to prioritise gas and nuclear power sources over renewables. Martin Ollman/NCA NewsWire. Credit: News Corp Australia

“Even Tony Abbott didn’t pull out of a global agreement on climate change and he thinks it’s crap. This makes Tony Abbott look like Al Gore.”

Mr Dutton’s announcement has been panned by climate scientists and the government.

Under the Paris Agreement countries excluding Iran, Libya and Yemen vowed to limit the rise in the earth’s average global temperatures “well below” 2 degrees and make an effort to stay at 1.5 degree Celsius.

Scientists have warned that if global temperatures were to exceed that level dangers from severe floods, wildfires, drought and heatwaves could become unmanageable.

When elected in 2022, Labor leader Anthony Albanese enshrined into law an emissions cut target of 43 per cent by 2030, up from the former Coalition government’s 26-28 per cent.

Camera IconGlobal investment into clean energy needs to rise from US$1.8 trillion to $4.5 trillion each year by the early 2030s to reach targets in the Paris Agreement. NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman Credit: News Corp Australia

Mr Dutton in an interview with the Weekend Australian on Saturday argued there was “no sense” in ­signing up to the target which he claimed was unachievable.

He reiterated the Coalition’s proposal to replace existing coal-fired power generators with a mix of small and large-scale nuclear reactors to use for net-zero power sources, however, did not reveal the proposed locations.

Speaking on Sunday, opposition communications spokesman David Coleman said the party would reveal its alternative to the federal government’s 2030 climate target in due course.

“We’re committed to the Paris Agreement and committed to net zero by 2050 and will have more to about targets well in advance of the election,” he said.

Originally published as Labor blasts Peter Dutton’s threat to withdraw from 2030 climate targets

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