Drum confident in agreement on climate
Federal Member for Nicholls Damian Drum is confident the parliamentary sitting starting next week will end with an agreement on addressing net zero emissions by 2050.
Speaking before heading back to Canberra for the first time in eight weeks, the Nationals MP was conscious middle Australia had shifted behind signing up to net zero in Glasgow.
‘‘I think I’ve got a pretty good feel on this, but I know the community is quite divided,’’ he said.
Mr Drum said correspondence to his office was split 50/50 between urging him to back net zero and warning him not to sign up at any cost.
‘‘You can wrap both of those together and it is along the lines of pushing my colleagues who are saying no to say yes, provided we have a whole range of checks and balances,’’ he said.
The Nationals party room meets on Sunday, ahead of a twoweek sitting where addressing climate change will be top of the agenda.
Mr Drum said the Nationals were only given the bones of the plan two days ago and party members had a right to interrogate it.
‘‘We need to see a plan and to be fair to my colleagues who have been holding out, they have every right to look at the plan,’’ he said.
Mr Drum said protecting agriculture, energy-intensive industry and households from high energy costs would be an important part of the Nationals’ considerations.
‘‘We have incredible opportunity with renewables with our natural assets in this country, but there is not one scientist who will tell you we don’t need more dispatchable power in the system,’’ he said.
‘‘If we take a sensible and steady approach to this, we won’t need to penalise businesses, providing we put in place a transition that sees fossil fuels phased out as renewables are turned up.
‘‘I’m very confident that we have 29 years of technology improvements and breakthroughs ahead.’’
Mr Drum said the bulk of people wanted Australia to sign up in Glasgow, but the bulk of people also didn’t want it if they had to pay $1000 a year.
‘‘The next couple of weeks I would like to see a plan; mainstream Australia has clearly made up its mind that we should sign up, but with caveats that give agriculture and people who work in intensive energy industries the security they need so they can go to bed at night not worried about their job,’’ he said.
‘‘I think we should be able to reach an agreement, I’ll be disappointed if we can’t.’’