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Josh Frydenberg dismisses Labor’s climate target as ‘reheat’ of 2019 plan

Kimberley CainesThe West Australian
Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.
Camera IconFederal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg. Credit: TheWest

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has brushed off Labor’s climate change pledge as a “reheat” of the emissions policy they took to the 2019 election.

Mr Frydenberg on Sunday said Opposition leader Anthony Albanese even called the target a “mistake” at the time, following a drop in poll figures.

It comes after Labor unveiled its long-awaited climate plan on Friday, with a promise to cut emissions by 43 per cent by 2030, create 604,000 extra jobs, and ensure power prices fall to $275 for households by 2025.

Prior to the election two years ago Labor promised to cut emissions by 45 per cent by 2030.

“Labor can’t be trusted on this important economic transition,” Mr Frydenberg told ABC’s Insiders program on Sunday.

“The last time they had a go at climate policy, we got a doubling in electricity prices, (and) we lost one in eight Australian jobs.

“We’ve got the right plan, we’re going to see emissions down by up to 35 per cent by 2030, we’re committed to net zero by 2050, this is an important environmental but also economic objective.”

The Coalition committed to a net zero emissions by 2050 target before the COP26 global climate conference in Glasgow in November, but refused to update its 2030 target from 26 to 28 per cent.

Despite this, the Morrison Government has actually forecast the nation will “beat” that target and achieve a 35 per cent cut to emissions on 2005 levels.

Australia was ranked last in the COP26 climate index, and would not sign up to initiatives such as cutting methane.

It also supported a push for coal to be “phased down” rather than “phased out”.

“We’ve got a 2050 goal as well but we think we have got it right,” Mr Frydenberg said.

“Again, look at our track record. Emissions are down by more than 20 per cent on 2005 levels. That’s ahead of Canada, that’s ahead of New Zealand, that’s ahead of the United States, a lot of other comparable countries.

“We have identified the new technologies, not tax, that we’re focusing on; hydrogen, carbon capture and storage,(and) low cost solar.”

Mr Frydenberg said the Coalition, if in Opposition after the next election, would vote against Labor’s emissions reduction target.

“We’re not about to support Labor’s policy. We’ve got our own policy and that’s what we’re looking to implement,” he said.

“But reducing emissions is an absolute focus for our government. We have deployed $20 billion, we’ve got a technology investment road map, we’re ahead of other comparable countries.

“Don’t look at what Labor says, look at what Labor does. They gave us a carbon tax.”

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