Lead­ers slam State Govt 2050 car­bon neu­tral pledge

Townsville Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE - DOMANII CAMERON

LEAD­ERS have slammed a State Govern­ment plan to re­duce Queens­land net car­bon emis­sions to zero by 2050, claim­ing the move will place a strain on the North’s re­sources sec­tor.

Fed­eral Re­sources Min­is­ter Matt Cana­van said the Govern­ment needed to come clean on whether the new pol­icy was “pay­back for their Adani de­ci­sion” on coal roy­al­ties.

STATE and fed­eral lead­ers have slammed a plan to dras­ti­cally re­duce Queens­land’s net car­bon emis­sions to zero by 2050, claim­ing the “hyp­o­crit­i­cal” move would place a strain on the North’s re­sources sec­tor.

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad and En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Dr Steven Miles an­nounced the Queens­land Cli­mate Tran­si­tion and Adap­ta­tion Strate­gies yes­ter­day, which laid out plans to re­duce car­bon pol­lu­tion while pre­par­ing com­mu­ni­ties for a warmer cli­mate.

Fed­eral Re­sources Min­is­ter Matt Cana­van said the State Govern­ment needed to come clean on whether the new pol­icy was “pay­back for their Adani de­ci­sion”.

In May, the State Govern­ment an­nounced a roy­alty scheme for Adani’s $ 16.5 bil­lion coal mine de­spite a Left fac­tion re­volt in the Cabi­net threat­en­ing the project.

“Are they try­ing to do a deal with the Greens?” Mr Cana­van said. “I think Queens­land de­serves to know what the pref­er­ences are – this might be a small re­flec­tion of those dis­cus­sions with the Greens.”

Mr Cana­van said the pol­icy would in­crease power bills.

“Our prob­lem in North Queens­land is that we want to con­tinue grow­ing,” he said.

“That means higher car­bon emis­sions if we do de­velop but what is their mod­el­ling?”

Ms Trad said the tar­get would al­low the state’s work­force to pivot from the re­sources sec­tor to re­new­able jobs.

“By adopt­ing this tar­get, we know that we will drive investment in re­new­able en­ergy and we will drive investment into re­search and new tech­nolo­gies,” she said in Cairns.

Op­po­si­tion Leader Tim Ni­cholls said the tar­get was a “real slap” for the North, which re­lied on the re­sources sec­tor.

“It is a recipe that will kill jobs across North­ern Aus­tralia, it’s a recipe for higher elec­tric­ity prices and a recipe for car­bon tax,” he said.

“It is in­cred­i­blyl h hyp­o­crit­i­cal­iti l to re­lease this glossy brochure just a month af­ter pre­tend­ing that they sup­ported the Adani re­sources project.”

Se­na­tor Ian Mac­don­ald said hav­ing zero car­bon emis­sions was “fairy­land stuff”.

“Aus­tralia emits less than 1.2 per cent of the world’s car­bon emis­sions,” he said.

“Each fort­night in In­dia they open a new coal- fired power sta­tion. For Aus­tralia to sug­gest that by cut­ting our emis­sions by even 50 per cent ( would make a dif­fer­ence) is just ridicu­lous.”

Greens can­di­date for South Bris­bane Amy MacMa­hon said no party could cred­i­bly claim to be rapidly re­duc­ing car­bon emis­sions while si­mul­ta­ne­ously giv­ing hand­outs to m multi­na­tional coal com­pa­nies.

“The La­bor Party’s pledge t to make the state car­bon neu­tral by 2050 is a con job and a j joke,” she said.

Dr Miles said to ful­fil the Paris agree­ment signed by the Fed­eral Govern­ment, de­vel­oped na­tions needed to achieve zero net emis­sions around the mid­dle of the cen­tury.

“Emis­sions from coal ex­ported will be ac­counted for in the coun­try in which they are used,” he said.

“There will con­tinue to be a mar­ket for Queens­land coal for decades to come, although ther­mal coal us­age is pro­jected to de­cline over that time.

“Most of Queens­land’s coal ex­ports are cok­ing coal, which is used for steel­mak­ing.

“The Govern­ment’s ex­pert panel ex­am­ined path­ways to achieve our re­new­able en­ergy tar­get, and de­ter­mined that ex­ist­ing coal gen­er­a­tors could con­tinue to op­er­ate at least un­til 2030.”

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