12 June 2024

Dutton says he's focussed on Australian economy, not international carbon targets

| Chris Johnson
Join the conversation
Peter Dutton

Peter Dutton won’t set an emissions reduction target for 2030 ahead of the next election. Photo: Peter Dutton Facebook.

Peter Dutton won’t set climate targets for 2030 unless he’s elected prime minister.

The Opposition Leader has clearly stated he and his Coalition team will campaign against Labor’s legislated emissions reduction target of 43 per cent by 2030.

Over the weekend, Mr Dutton said the Federal Government’s target was unachievable, setting the ground for next year’s federal election to be partly fought over climate change.

When pressed on Tuesday (11 June), the Opposition Leader revealed that he won’t be putting up an alternative target ahead of the election – not even during the campaign – but will fight against Labor’s target.

“In terms of the targets or otherwise, we’ll make those decisions when we’re in government,” Mr Dutton said.

“We’ll look at the prevailing economic conditions after the next election and we’ll make announcements in due course.”

He argued that the Coalition had a “credible path” to net zero emissions by 2050, but it was in no rush to set an earlier target to gauge progress towards that aim.

“I think there is a big debate for our country to have,” he said.

“We’ll make sure that we meet our international obligations, make sure that we do the right thing in relation to our economy, but the only party with a credible policy on net zero by 2050 is the Coalition.

“I’m not going to destroy the economy and send families bankrupt in the process of decarbonising our economy, whereas the Labor Party has the Australian people on that path.”

READ ALSO National Anti-Corruption Commission comes out of the blocks and lies down

Taking a swipe at the government’s Paris Agreement trajectory, the Opposition Leader suggested it wasn’t his priority to help keep Australia on track to net zero by 2050.

And he didn’t care if Australia breached its Paris Agreement responsibilities along the way.

“The Labor Party can try to please people in Paris. My job is to take care of the Australian people, and that’s exactly what I would do as prime minister,” Mr Dutton said.

“Look, in terms of announcements, we’ll make them in due course. But I’ve been very clear about the fact that we are wedded to net zero by 2050.

“We are not going to crash the economy as Labor’s proposing to do. We’re not going to make it harder for families as Labor is in the process of doing. This is a government that’s two years old. Frankly, it looks 22 years old. I think there is a lot of pain in the economy at the moment that the Prime Minister won’t even acknowledge.”

Anthony Albanese described Mr Dutton as divisive and negative on the need for climate change action, and of being afraid of the future.

The Prime Minister said no 2030 target means walking out of the Paris Agreement and would place Australia with Libya, Yemen and Iran, adding that Australians didn’t want another election fought over climate change because they know it is real and they voted at the last election for candidates who took it seriously.

“You can’t shape the future if you’re afraid of it, and Peter Dutton is afraid of the future and he’s incapable of leading Australia towards the future that we need,” Mr Albanese said.

“Peter Dutton is worse than Scott Morrison on climate change. He is all negativity and no plan.

“And what we’ve seen now for two years under Peter Dutton is a reluctance to announce any policies.

“We’ve seen three, now, budget replies without a single costing, and now he and the Coalition are exposed for what that means.

“If you have a budget reply without any media releases, without any costings, without any serious policies, then you can’t be taken seriously as the alternative government of Australia.”

READ ALSO Time for APS to upskill in AI, says assistant minister

Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen said he was confident Australia would reach its 2030 emission reduction target.

He said the nation was estimated to be one percentage point away from being on track for a 43 per cent cut by 2030.

“The next round of forecasts before the end of the year will obviously show the impact of what we’ve announced and update on how we’re going with the implementation,” Mr Bowen said.

He added that Australia would be in clear breach of the Paris Agreement commitments if a future Coalition government ignored the current 2030 target legislation or decided to “rip up” the target altogether.

The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change.

It was adopted by 196 Parties at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, France, on 12 December 2015. It entered into force on 4 November 2016.

An explanation statement on the UN’s Paris Agreement website states: “Its overarching goal is to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

“However, in recent years, world leaders have stressed the need to limit global warming to 1.5°C by the end of this century.”

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

I can’t believe that people defend Bowen. Every ministry that he has helmed has been a disaster

HiddenDragon7:37 pm 12 Jun 24

The Coalition has framed this very badly.

Instead of leading with a commitment to nuclear power, they should have hammered the problems (particularly regarding large scale storage) arising from Labor’s drive towards a very high reliance on wind and solar and simply said that if we continue on this path we will end up having to consider nuclear. Labor’s recent public back-flip on gas was an admission of these problems.

On the other side of the debate, Albanese and Bowen have a lot to say about what other countries have claimed they will do, rather than what they are actually doing –


and also seem to be in denial about the message from the recent EU elections and what the polls have said for some months about the likely outcome of the US election.

As a small trading nation, Australia cannot afford to get badly out of step with what other countries are doing, but we equally cannot afford to destroy the industries which generate our real wealth (and pay for the comfy lifestyles in places like the ACT and the Teal seats) in the hope that the “renewable energy superpower” slogan will become a reality.

“Australia cannot afford to get badly out of step “

So you agree Australia should not be behind as well as not in front. Very fair. Currently, we are behind in several areas.

One of the significant problems with nuclear now is that it is too little, too late. There is a curve of action and response. Imagine we did absolutely nothing until 2049 when we lit up a dozen nuclear reactors reducing energy-generation emissions to zero before 2050:
– Firstly, things are getting worse in the meantime.
-Secondly, how many reactors do you seriously imagine would actually be build by the 2040s if we started now? We might hope for one, not a solution (but absolutely a critical target for those of ill-will).
– Thirdly, allowing that the energy sector is primary, what of other action?

Being a “renewable energy superpower” is a slogan, but inaction will be industrial failure.

“100 people need to act to solve this.”
“So, my contribution is only 1%, which is not on its own going to solve the problem, therefore I will do nothing. The other 99 can do my share.”

A working definition of moral bankruptcy.

I can realistically see there are people who like to imagine it is not happening, being wrong for various reasons. They are prepared to stand up. Weaselling out is a different matter.

Capital Retro4:54 pm 12 Jun 24

The latest polls disagree with your rant.

Well you go and waste your own money on reducing your own emissions and leave the rest of us alone with your climate cult nonsense.

Morally bankrupt is expecting everybody else to fund your virtue signalling crusade.

Capital Retro is willing to stand up for being wrong.

@Ken M
Morally bankrupt is expecting everybody else to fund your virtue signalling crusade”
Yet you are happy to fund nuclear reactors to reduce emissions? Moronically bankrupt I think.

“The latest polls disagree with your rant.”

Hmm, do they now?

2024 Lowy poll,

57% of respondents said:

“Global warming is a serious and pressing problem. We should begin taking steps now even if this involves significant costs”

30% of respondents said:

the problem of global warming should be addressed, but its effects will be gradual, so we can deal with the problem gradually by taking steps that are low in cost.

Only 12% said:

Until we are sure that global warming is really a problem, we should not take any steps that would have economic costs

Queenie-Lou Hilario9:14 am 13 Jun 24

@Ken M … and there we have it: “the scientists and everyone is wrong except for the plucky cookers and oil companies”, with the tedious intellectually vacant rhetorical sledges: “waste of money”, “cult”, “virtue signal”.

Oh, look, it is the usual cult hysterics from queenie, imagining things that have not even been alluded to.

Australias emissions are insignificant. We could not emit a single gram of carbon from tomorrow, and it would make no difference while places like China and India continue on as they are. That’s a fact. Damaging our economy to virtue signal and pretend we are saving the world is pure stupidity.

Still pushing personal failure, Ken M?

In your attempt to justify this your case against climate science, so far as I have been able to ascertain it, comprises “lol”, “fantasy”, “delusion” and “cult” (and elsewhere “but…but…suicide”) yet not once have you managed to present an argument on any such topic.

Climate science in basic form is based on commonplace physics in a complex system with potentially chaotic outcomes. It is Ironic that you write your nonsense on a device enabled by “the quantum cult” as you might term it, quite uncommon physics, while spending your days using and supported by the the materials cult, gas behaviours cult, agriculture cult, relativity cult, and innumerable others you probably do not understand.

That’s a lot of ranting to address absolutely nothing I said, byline. Not that I expect much more from sycophants.

Queenie-Lou Hilario2:40 pm 13 Jun 24

“sycophant” … that’s a new one. Well done! Let’s put that straight on the fridge.

In financial year 2023, the export value of coal from Australia was approximately 127 billion Australian dollars. Apparently it’s OK for Australia to export it, but not to use it. Higher levels of GDP are correlated with greater electricity use, access, reliability, and affordability. Australia’s economic growth for the last quarter was 0.1%. Wake up Australia.

@Mark R
OK – so what happens to our export revenue when importers of Australian products begin to impose economical penalties in the form of carbon tariffs?

The policy is designed to ensure manufacturers operating in nations with strict emissions policies in place, such as a carbon price, are not undercut by manufacturers in higher-emitting countries. The European Union introduced such a policy in 2023. The US is also considering a version of the policy.

Australian exporters risk significant economic costs if the federal government was to abandon its emissions reduction strategy. What will happen to economic growth then?

Tony Mansfield1:18 pm 12 Jun 24

I just wish I could take Peter Dutton seriously but the Libs don’t seem to have learnt anything from the last election, they continue to offer up meaningless bitter sound bites along with childish emotional appeals tied to an old view of Labor that we’ve all moved on from. FACT- We’ve had stable and progressive government for the last two years – far more so than what the previous government provided, irrespective of one’s politics.

Absolute delusion.

Stable and progressive? This gumment has to be the most useless I’ve ever had the misfortune of having to.fund. the sooner our country gets rid of these clowns the better.

peturbed_but_pretty12:53 pm 12 Jun 24

If Dutton can’t see that international climate policies are intrinsically linked to our economy then he is a nincompoop who is just trying to win cheap votes

Doesn’t he get it? If climate change is not addressed, the effect on the Australian economy will be devastating. As PM, is he prepared to look people in the eye after their homes and businesses have been destroyed by increasingly more frequent extreme weather events? Does he understand that the PM has a responsibility to them?

Australia could go carbon zero tomorrow and it woildn’t make a lick of difference. We are responsible for less than 1% of global emissions. At least be realistic about it.

Not everyone believes the hysteria.

And what sort of climate are you expecting?

@Ken M
Next you’ll be rolling out Alan Jones’s (the best social conscience money could buy) party trick with the grain of rice. But of course when you, do I’ll counter with Charlie Pickering’s much more entertaining a practical rebuff.

Yes your right, Rustygear, because the majority of Australians don’t believe action on climate change is hysteria

@Michael M
As per the last time you asked the same question:
“Like any rational person who actually understands and accepts the issues caused by anthropogenic climate change, Michael M, I’d like a climate that doesn’t have those issues – which you can research easily by accessing any number of peer reviewed articles and papers from the many credible climate change websites.”

Of course, once we reach these targets, the climate will miraculously change – it’s going to be like the garden of Eden all over again. I don’t believe in fairy stories!

And if we get to net zero CO2 how will plants survive and the planet, just saying.

JS, nobody cares what fantasy BS you want to spout. The fact of the matter is that Australias carbon emissions are insignificant, and do not justify the cost to taxpayers for a virtue signalling crusade that can achieve absolutely nothing.

@Michael M
Oh dear, are you really that ignorant and ill-informed? Net zero CO2 emissions!

Wow – that takes the cake – a climate change denier who doesn’t actually know what they are denying.

Go away and actually do some research *face palm*

Gee, Michael M, how did plants survive up to a couple of hundred years ago? I’m pretty sure the planet was around back then too.

Did you really think net zero = zero?

“the majority of Australians don’t believe action on climate change is hysteria” — a majority? Or is this just like “The Voice” majority, i.e. about 30%? In any case, those who catastrophise over every hot day certainly are being hysterical. Even people in that academic field acknowledge the difference between long term trends and case by case weather events. That difference is lost on both the mainstream media, and inner city hysterics. But hey, you’re the guy who always knows best (BA, fantastic, wow), so you do you, running around screaming about the sky falling in, weeping to your psychiatrist about hot days and whatever. That’s inner city elites for you.

surely you can see the irony in your own comment when we regularly see things like cold days or rain as “proof” that climate change doesn’t exist. Some of them even post those types of things here.

Along with other mainstream media outlets pushing that same narrative to feed a distrust in science and scientists as somehow part of an “elite” cabal.

They would be equally “hysterical” Yes?

As for what the majority believe, all reputable polls have action on climate change as a major issue for a majority of Australians that they want action on. I’ve posted the most recent results of one above.

Obviously that action should be well defined and linked to the ability to achieve and track outcomes but the long running support can’t be denied.

Yes – a majority as per the latest poll. 87% of Australians believe the problem of global warming should be addressed … and many of them voted “No” in the referendum.

“those who catastrophise over every hot day certainly are being hysterical” Yes I agree a single hot day isn’t of itself an issue because that’s weather – it’s the trends which is what climate change concerns is about and the increase in bad weather events.

Rather than puerile pejoratives, why don’t you check out the science from published experts on the subject?

@Ken M
” nobody cares what fantasy BS you want to spout”
My “BS” is the findings of published peer reviewed experts. What are your findings based on – what you read on social media? Check out the real facts for a change.

“cost to taxpayers for a virtue signalling crusade”
So why do you support nuclear power to reduce emissions?

Queenie-Lou Hilario9:50 am 13 Jun 24

@Rustygear “mainstream media, and inner city hysterics” … you don’t believe peer-reviewed science, journalistic reporting, or anyone who lives in a city?

Today I learned that JS thinks a bit from a D grade “comedian” is a peer reviewed study.

I don’t really care about nuclear power. I just find it amusing that you climate cultists seem to suddenly care about the cost of things when the only reliable form of clean energy generation is mentioned. It amuses me to call out the hypocrisy.

@Ken M
“Today I learned …”
LMAO – if only you were actually capable of learning facts, Ken M

Quite amusing coming from Mr “Reality can be altered by govetnment decree”. LOL

“when the only reliable form of clean energy generation is mentioned”

Anyone with even the most basic knowledge of the energy sector and electricity generation knows this blatantly false.

That you continue to repeat discredited information as if giving some amazing insight is laughable.

One might almost say it’s the behaviour of a “cultist”.

Queenie-Lou Hilario1:37 pm 13 Jun 24

“call out the hypocrisy” OMG I don’t think I’ve ever laughed as hard as when I read this one. Gold.

You just screeching and making baseless claims doesn’t make you right, chewy.

And queenie, it’s pretty common for climate cultists like yourself to not recognise your own hypocrisy. It takes a lot of double think and double standards to end up like you.

@Ken M
When you actually come up with some verifiable facts rather than cliched drivel, then I’ll start to believe you are developing an understanding of what reality is.

“You just screeching and making baseless claims doesn’t make you right, chewy.”

This is beyond delusional now. I provided you direct links to research and evidence proving your claims incorrect.

You have responded with nothing but ignorance, personal opinions and repetition of the same tired and incorrect talking points.

There’s one of us screeching with baseless opinions and it’s not me.

I’m laughing at how poor your grasp on reality is and your total inability to put forward a cogent argument with any form of evidentiary support.

Dutton is more loyal to israel than Australia.

George Hastings10:31 am 12 Jun 24

All politicians should be focused on aussies, it’s our tax money

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.