Energy Minister Angus Taylor to address crucial meeting of national MPs on Sunday as the Liberal Party tries to persuade its junior coalition partner to sign up to a net zero emissions target by 2050 .
Senior liberal and national government sources insist that despite Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s pledge to attend the Glasgow conference, a net zero deal has yet to be reached.
While Liberal cabinet ministers have argued for higher targets, with Defense Minister and senior Tory official Peter Dutton backing net zero by 2050 in an interview last Friday, the Nationals have four cabinet ministers and could prevent consensus.
Mr Joyce said there was a chance the result could mean the federal cabinet could not come to a united position on the net zero goal.
“It is possible and it could go both ways,” he said.
Mr Joyce said Mr Taylor would address the meeting and answer questions and then allow a discussion among national MPs. “We are not in the Liberal Party room. We are in the National Hall and we will make the decision of the Nationals and we will not be held hostage by what others may wish, ”he said.
Mr Joyce said the scenario could be similar to a cabinet debate on the Australian Wheat Board in 2006 and 2007, when the Liberals wanted to remove ‘one-stop’ control of wheat exports while nationals supported the role. AWB central. The split in that case meant the Howard government was struggling to achieve a result and that it was up to a subsequent government to sort it out, as Labor passed the Wheat Marketing Act in 2008 to allow multiple exporters.
Queensland National Senator Matt Canavan said net zero was “rubbish” and took inspiration from Mr Morrison’s well-known comment after the last election that he believes in miracles to castigate the government for pursuing a “leftist revival program” without a protection plan. works.
“From what I’ve seen, the government doesn’t seem to have a plan, it has a prayer,” Senator Canavan said.
“He has a prayer that the hydrogen will work one way or another and save all of our jobs. Well the Prime Minister may believe in miracles, but I don’t think we should play people’s work on a wing and a prayer. “
But NSW Nationals MP Kevin Hogan, who is based in Lismore and represents the electorate of Page on the state’s north coast, has offered some support for net zero by 2050.
“I would support doing things like this, but I would also support a lot [that] regional Australia does not bear the full cost of this, ”he said.
Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said coal miners should not “shiver in their boots” over the net zero decision because the government would take care of them.
Likewise, Taylor said government policy will focus on protecting traditional industries such as agriculture, heavy manufacturing, mining and resources.
“This is the objective, this is what we are going to talk about,” he said before the meeting of the Nationals village hall.