/ 27 September 2021

Climate changes cause Nats clash

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As climate policy tensions between federal Nationals’ pollies go from simmer to boil, one of the party’s Victorian-based MPs Darren Chester says he will “take a break from organised meetings, events and activities in The Nationals Federal Parliamentary party room”. He says he’s frustrated “with the repeated failure of the leadership to even attempt to moderate some of the more disrespectful and offensive views expressed by a minority of colleagues.”

There’s a big climate change summit in Glasgow coming up in November. At that United Nations’ hosted COP26 meeting, world leaders will assemble to confirm their commitments to more urgently tackle global warming. Not onboard with Australia cutting emissions harder: Nationals’ backbenchers Matt Canavan and George Christensen, and Resources Minister Keith Pitt. They say resources industry jobs are more important than “demands from foreign countries or the United Nations”. Side note: you should also know that Chester is no fan of Nats leader and Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce… Chester was sacked from his Veterans’ Affairs ministry by Joyce after the party’s leadership change in June.

It’s about more than some narkiness inside the Nats… The Morrison Government is seemingly edging towards a more ambitious emissions reduction target. Last week, PM Scott Morrison told US President Joe Biden that he’s working on an “Australian plan” that is thought to include a commitment to net zero emissions by 2050. Treasurer John Frydenberg said he’s on board with that. And on Friday, Joyce said he has “no problems” with such a plan if regional communities and industries are protected, but his Nationals colleagues will get the final say on the party’s official position. “Australia remains a pariah whilst we don’t adopt net zero by 2050,” Labor leader Anthony Albanese said yesterday. All of this needs to be settled ahead of COP26, so Joyce and Morrison have a big few weeks ahead of them

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