Townsville Bulletin

Net zero pressure builds


SENIOR Nationals are demanding guarantees regional Australia will not foot the bill for any commitment to netzero carbon emissions, while a prominent Queensland senator compared giving in to internatio­nal pressure on the debate as “no different to China” demanding security concession­s in return for trade.

Queensland’s Matt Canavan said he would not quit the LNP or Nationals partyroom if the Morrison government backed a net-zero policy, but would continue to oppose it.

There has been mounting pressure on the federal government to sign up to the idea before the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow at the end of next month, with Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce confirming it was under discussion in the Nationals’ partyroom. Deputy Nationals leader David Littleprou­d said regional areas had paid the price for Australia meeting Kyoto and Paris climate commitment­s and it was “time to square the ledger”.

Senator Canavan said Australia should not give in to internatio­nal pressure on net zero, saying the cost would be astronomic­al and “put a lot of people out of work”.

“It’s no different to China saying they will do more trade with us if we give in to their 14 grievances,” he said. “We should take the same approach to that as we do with China, say ‘bugger off’.”

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