‘More detail in a fortune cookie’: Coalition’s climate spin

Now well into their ninth year of government the Coalition have suddenly announced their “plan” for net zero emissions by 2050.

Chris Bowen, Labor’s Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy declared: “I’ve seen more detail in a fortune cookie”.

All sensible Australians know that climate change is the biggest challenge facing our planet. It’s also a huge opportunity for Australia to become a renewable energy superpower, and with all the new jobs that come with it.

It requires the hard work and detail to get right, but all Scott Morrison has is more slogans and spin. So many slogans, so little substance.

After years of the Liberals and Nationals campaigning against real action on climate change, they turn up at the final minute with a half-baked plan, they won’t release their modelling – that Treasury admits it hasn’t seen.

Here is what you need to know:

  • There’s nothing new in their plan. To quote their own documents: ‘The plan is based on existing policies’. That’s right, there’s nothing new in their plan aside from a promotion for Nationals Minister Keith Pitt into Cabinet and a review process every five years. No new funding. No new policies. It’s just the same target Tony Abbott set six years ago – the world has moved on but the Liberals are still stuck in the past. Maybe around 1954.
  • There’s no legislation to make Net Zero law. Around the world, sensible governments have put their net zero targets into law – thus showing that they are wholeheartedly committed. Bizarrely, (and stubbornly), Scott Morrison has refused to do the same. He even voted against legislating net zero just hours after launching his power point display.

Labor backs net zero by 2050 yet some in the Liberal and National Party don’t. That’s why Scott Morrison won’t make net zero law – because it would embarrass his government if our nation saw how he is merely the figurehead in front of a divided rabble.

Scott Morrison’s plan is all about protecting himself. The Prime Minister went to the last election campaigning vigorously against net zero by 2050, yet now he says he supports it. He claims technology will be the key to achieving net zero, while he trash-talked electric vehicles and compared battery storage to the Big Banana or Big Prawn. The Coalition railed against overseas carbon offsets yet announced that they’ll be needed to get us up to 10% of the way to net zero. The only reason Scott Morrison launched his powerpoint display was to try to solve a political problem in the short term.

It is obvious that despite what Scott Morrison says about net zero, we just can’t trust him. Unlike the Liberals and Nationals, Labor has announced a comprehensive set of policies to tackle climate change.

Federal Labor is committed to legislating net zero by 2050. We’ll make a massive investment to rewire Australia’s electricity grid and unleash the large-scale renewables investment that has flatlined under Morrison.

Labor has announced our New Energy Apprenticeships program, 400 community batteries, and cutting taxes off EV’s to make them more affordable and will have even more to announce in the coming weeks and months in the lead up to the next federal election.

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