Politics with Michelle Grattan

David Littleproud on The Nationals and net zero

February 11, 2021

Scott Morrison has indicated he wants to embrace a 2050 target of net-zero emissions. That, however, requires bringing the Nationals on board, and a vocal group in that party is fighting a fierce rearguard action.

The Nationals deputy leader David Littleproud, who is Minister for Agriculture, is sympathetic to the target - so long as there is a credible path to get there, which won't disadvantage rural Australians.

In this podcast Littleproud says he believes the pathway could be settled this year. 

"That's not in my remit. But there is a hope to accelerate that and to make sure that we can provide that [pathway] as quickly as we can. The money's been set aside for a lot of that work and some of that work's already been completed."

As for that Nationals, "our position is we want to see the plan first. Our party room hasn't got to a juncture of dismissing it. We want to see what the plan is and who pays for it."

Asked whether agriculture would have to be exempted for the Nationals to sign up to the 2050 target, Littleproud says, "Well, with respect to ag, I think it cane be part of the solution".   

On the ANZ's announcement this week it would stop lending to Australia's biggest coal port, the Port of Newcastle, Littleproud is scathing:

"Well, they're a pathetic joke... We had a banking royal commission and here we are, a bank telling the Australian people about how society should run. That is not their role. Their role is to provide capital." 

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