‘Striking distance’: Bowen claims Labor’s 2030 emissions target within reach and prepares for climate war with opposition

Tess Ikonomou
AAP
2 Min Read
Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen is calling out the Federal opposition..
Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen is calling out the Federal opposition.. Credit: Ross Swanborough/The West Australian

Energy Minister Chris Bowen insists Australia will meet its emissions reductions targets, as Labor goes head to head with the coalition in a battle over climate change.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton plans to scrap Australia’s 2030 target to cut emissions by 43 per cent from 2005 levels if the coalition wins the next federal election.

But the coalition says it remains committed to the Paris climate agreement, which requires member countries to increase their emissions targets every five years and not water them down.

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It also commits to limiting global temperature rises to 1.5C, keeping it below 2C.

Forecasts released in December showed Australia was on track for a 42 per cent reduction in emissions, which was within “striking distance” of the 43 per cent target, Mr Bowen said.

He pointed to Labor’s renewable energy rollout and a new vehicle efficiency standard as measures that would get Australia to 43 per cent.

“These are all the sorts of things which mean that we can say with quite a degree of confidence ... that we will achieve our 2030 target,” he told ABC radio on Tuesday.

“The opposition has been a mess all weekend.”

Independent MP Monique Ryan, who holds the Victorian seat of Kooyong, accused the coalition of being “utterly incoherent”.

“They can’t even decide amongst themselves what their plan is and what their policy is,” she told Nine’s Today program.

Ms Ryan said the business community, which wants certainty on climate policy, was alarmed.

But Deputy Nationals leader Bridget McKenzie rejected this, saying the coalition had been clear about its stance.

“We’re interested in a credible pathway to get there, one where we don’t see jobs go offshore because of high energy prices, and one where we get emissions down,” she said.

“The Labor Party and the teals’ plan has not reduced emissions by one iota in two years of them being in power.”

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