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Tuesday, 11 September 2018
Page: 6026

Climate Change

Senator McCARTHY (Northern Territory) (15:02): My question is to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Payne. Does the Morrison government remain committed to the Paris climate change agreement?

Senator PAYNE (New South WalesMinister for Foreign Affairs) (15:02): The government has indicated that we continue our commitment to the arrangements under the Paris agreement, yes.

The PRESIDENT: Senator McCarthy, a supplementary question?

Senator McCARTHY (Northern Territory) (15:02): Does it remain Morrison government policy to reduce Australia's emissions by 26 per cent on 2005 levels?

Senator PAYNE (New South WalesMinister for Foreign Affairs) (15:02): I can advise the Senate that Australia has a proud record of meeting our emissions targets. We beat our first Kyoto target by 128 million tonnes. Under our existing policies covering every sector of the economy we're on track to meet and beat our 2020 target, which is a five per cent reduction on 2000 levels. In terms of Australia's 2030 target of reducing emissions by 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels, we believe that is ambitious and responsible. It's equivalent to a 52 per cent reduction in Australia's per person emissions, amongst the highest of any G20 country. Australia's cumulative emissions reduction task to 2030 is now projected to be 868 million tonnes, a 26 per cent target. It is an improvement of over 120 million tonnes on the last estimate, which was published in December 2016. This government will continue to take achievable, responsible, reasonable action over the longer term, and all of the material that I've provided for Senator McCarthy goes to that.

The PRESIDENT: Senator McCarthy, a final supplementary question?

Senator McCARTHY (Northern Territory) (15:03): Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said that perhaps the only way for the Turnbull government to win the next election is to say, 'We're scrapping the Paris deal.' Does the former Prime Minister's statement explain why the government has walked away from reflecting the Paris agreement as a part of its energy policy?

Senator PAYNE (New South WalesMinister for Foreign Affairs) (15:04): Had Senator McCarthy listened to either my first or my second answer she would have heard the endeavours that the Australian government is pursuing to observe the Paris agreement—to meet those targets. Her question is therefore redundant.

Senator Cormann: Mr President, I ask that further questions be placed on the NoticePaper.