Ms. O’CONNOR (Clark – Leader of the Greens) – Mr. Speaker, we started this debate on the subject of “Public Significance” because, as Dr. Woodruff said the meeting of world leaders in Glasgow will be the most significant in human history. The decisions and statements made in Glasgow will determine the future of life on earth. We recognize that the Tasmanian Parliament must have this debate. We didn’t have the opportunity earlier in the week through the Labor MPIs. Just yesterday we had a MPI for road maintenance.

I digress, but I would like to point out to the house in case someone has forgotten that the Albanian Federal Labor Party is 100 percent behind the coal and gas industry. It still takes hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from the fossil fuel industry, and of course, Labor at the federal and state levels is still supporting the deforestation of native forests.

We’re discussing equality of opportunity here, Mr Spokesman, and we’re becoming the hypocrites in the country treat old parties the same way. The working class has no leg to stand on with the climate. You have shown absolutely no pride in the fact that because of the forests set aside under the Tasmanian Forest Agreement and decades of conservation efforts by conservationists, we are net zero.

We know we are, according to the Intergovernmental Committee for climate change are in a red code for humanity. Right now we are well on our way to reaching 2.7 degrees warming by the end of the century. We know we need to cut emissions by 55 percent by 2030. We will see significant warming on this planet during the lifetime of our children and your grandchildren, Mr. Spokesman. That is why we believe that this Parliament needs to have a much stronger and clearer focus on how we are reducing our emissions.

I agree with the minister’s position that he is setting a net zero target for 2030, but we have it achieved it over a very long period of time because of our forests and our investments in hydropower. You can see from the greenhouse gas bills that emissions in the transport and agriculture sectors are increasing. We see emissions increasing in several sectors. I accept what the minister says about the challenge of maintaining this net zero emissions target through 2030. However, if you don’t set sectoral targets and work very closely with those sectors to help them reduce their emissions, it will be very difficult to ensure that emissions in these sectors go down.

Mr Speaker, we have Prime Minister and Fossil Fuel Minister Angus Taylor en route to Glasgow. Let’s be clear about this; they are going there with no new guidelines, with a plan that is effectively based on compensatory payments and the illusion of carbon capture and storage.

We have a Prime Minister going to Glasgow which is going to be a national embarrassment on the international stage. Nothing this Morrison administration has done takes the climate seriously; on the contrary. We recently had Federal Environment Minister Susan Ley approve three new coal mines. This came after the federal court found that the minister had a duty of care to the children of Australia. Despite that federal court ruling, it has since approved three new coal mines.

This approach points to a government that does not care about the future of our children and grandchildren. It doesn’t matter that we’re the world’s leading coal exporter right now. It is not enough of interest to stand up against the fossil fuel industry and say: “No, we will take sensible measures to protect the climate”. In fact, the Morrison government cares most about power and money. That’s what this is about. All the false drama between the Liberals and the Nationals about the 2050 goal was just that. It was all for show so the Morrison administration could, at some level, look like it was firm on climate change. In this federal election you will rely much more on the votes of climate deniers than on people who recognize the need for action. This is the cold, hard, political reality.

I hope that this little parliament on this beautiful island can find a way to work together on this climate issue. One of the most important things we can do – everyone here knows it’s true – is to keep the carbon that is in the soil in the soil to protect our native forests, restore degraded landscapes, and seriously grow carbon a beacon for the world of sustainability and prosperity in a very difficult century.

The government has announced a greenhouse gas emissions target for 2030, which we achieved six years ago, largely thanks to the carbon stored in our forests.
Dr. Rosalie Woodruff MP | Parliamentary activity | Oct 14, 2021

The announcement that net CO2 emissions will be anchored by 2030 is a cynical failure to combat the climate crisis. We have already reached this milestone.
Dr. Rosalie Woodruff MP | Parliamentary activity | Oct 13, 2021

We are seeing emissions rising in other parts of our economy, from agriculture to transport to waste.
Cassy O’Connor MP | Parliamentary activity | 14.09.2021

Prime Minister Peter Gutwein confirmed in parliament today that he has completely succumbed to the climate-hostile wing of the Liberal Party.
Cassy O’Connor MP | Press release | 15.09.2021

We have a climate plan that you will announce that does not include any upper logging limits and no sectoral targets.
Dr. Rosalie Woodruff MP | Parliamentary activity | 9/6/2021

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