Cracks are emerging in Barnaby Joyce’s net zero “deal” for the PM with some Nationals MPs confirming they won’t support it.
Cracks are emerging in Barnaby Joyce’s “deal” to deliver net zero by 2050 for the Prime Minister with some Nationals MPs confirming they won’t support it.
National leader Barnaby Joyce has backed the new climate target of net zero by 2050 after a two-hour meeting with 21 members and senators on Sunday afternoon, but is refusing to say what’s in the deal, citing cabinet secrecy.
The breakthrough means that Prime Minister Scott Morrison can now attend the Glasgow climate change summit with an agreement with the Nationals on the way forward..
“We are in support of a process going forward that would go towards a 2050 emissions target,” Mr Joyce said.
“Obviously that is dependent upon what we see in the Cabinet submission reflecting the conversations and the agreements between myself and the Prime Minister.”
“What I can say is the easy decision would be to say no and join, join other people and scream and yell from the sidelines, having absolutely no influence on the way the decision.
“Without a shadow of a doubt, the position regional people are in now is vastly better than they were before we started those negotiations.”
Yet Nationals Senator Matt Canavan has told news.com.au that the deal doesn’t have unanimous support.
Speaking after the meeting, he confirmed that he still believed it was a “bad deal”.
“Net zero will be a bad deal for Australia because it will send jobs and industry to China just as we face greater risks of conflict.”
Mr Joyce declined to guarantee that all Nationals will support the deal – leaving the door open for some rebel Nationals including Matt Canavan and George Christensen to oppose the deal.
He also repeatedly refused to say what the Prime Minister had offered to seal the deal including if it included an extra seat for the Nationals in cabinet.
There is no legislation before Parliament with regard to the new target, so no prospect they will be forced to cross the floor.
“It’s a very vexed issue. And people have very strong feelings on both sides, and out a respect for those feelings, I’m not gonna start commentating on what one person or another person,’’ Mr Joyce said.
Earlier, the NSW Treasurer said if the Prime Minister should “continue to act in the nation’s interest” and if Nationals didn’t want to get on board they should resign.
“And if the Nats won’t get on board, they have a very clear choice: they can resign from the ministry and support a Liberal Government, or they can resign from the ministry and support a Labor government,” he said.
“Now, I know what the best path forward for our country is and that’s a strong National-Liberal Coalition government putting the interests of our nation first. That’s what we’ve done in New South Wales and I know that that is what will happen in Canberra.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he welcomed what he described as the Nationals’ in-principle support for the commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
“We recognise this has been a challenging issue for the Nationals. I thank the DPM for his leadership and his colleagues for their considered support. I greatly respect the process they have undertaken in reaching this decision,’’ he said.
“Only the Coalition can be trusted to deliver a plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 that will protect and promote rural and regional Australia.
“Ensuring regional Australia continues to grow and prosper is a core objective of any Coalition Government, and this will be central to our plan.
“Australia will continue to reduce emissions while keeping our economy growing, maintaining affordable, reliable energy and ensuring our regions remain strong.