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Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Emissions


Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Thursday, 14 October 2021

Tags: Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Climate Emergency

Dr WOODRUFF question to MINISTER for CLIMATE CHANGE, Mr JAENSCH

Yesterday you announced a 2030 greenhouse gas emissions target that we reached six years ago, thanks in large part to the carbon stored in our forests. When you spoke to the media, you said, 'What we need to arrive at is a 2030 target for team Tasmania for a whole'.

The majority of the Climate Change Act Review submissions called for sectoral targets for emissions reductions. Only the mining, forestry, cement and manufacturing industries were opposed to that. You have clearly chosen your team. You also said:

As our economy grows and as our population grows and as we expect to see more frequent intense bushfires, our emissions profile is going to go up.

In a time of accelerating climate change, is your Climate Action Plan to increase greenhouse gas emissions? Is that what climate leadership looks like to you? This is what you said yesterday in the media. I am quoting from you.

 

ANSWER

Mr Speaker, I thank the member for Clark for her question.

Members interjecting.

Mr SPEAKER - Order. The member has asked the question.

Dr Woodruff - Mr Speaker, I am correcting the minister. He called me the member for Clark and I am the member for Franklin.

Mr JAENSCH - Member for Franklin, I apologise. I unreservedly withdraw.

Mr Speaker, I thank the member for Franklin, Dr Woodruff, for her question. I am astonished that the Greens cannot find it in themselves to welcome this Government proposing that Tasmania adopts the most ambitious emissions target in Australia and one of the most ambitious in the world. I find it astonishing that the Greens cannot bring themselves to support the announcement that this Liberal Government wants to maintain Tasmania's position as a world leader in managing greenhouse gas emissions and enhance our brand, our reputation, and to transition to a long-term low emissions economy. I find that astounding.

However, it is true to form. There is a pattern emerging. The Greens used to stand for a strong emissions target, now they cannot support them. They used to stand for ecotourism, now they do not want people to go in and see our natural areas. They used to stand for renewable energy but these days they do not support many renewable energy projects. They used to stand for the sharing economy, they used to embrace the sharing economy, now they see it as an evil.

Members interjecting.

Dr WOODRUFF - Point of order, Mr Speaker.

Members interjecting.

Mr SPEAKER - Order. Order in the House. Sorry, Dr Woodruff. Order in the House, please, so that I can hear the point of order.

Dr WOODRUFF - Mr Speaker, it is about relevance. The question was about sectoral targets and he is focusing on the interests of industries over what everyone else knows is the way forward.

Mr SPEAKER - Order, Dr Woodruff, order. That is not a point of order and you know it. It is an interruption to the minister while he is on his feet. That is disorderly. The minister was only 30 seconds into his answer and you are querying the direction that he is going.

I am sure the minister will cover all the issue that you raised. The minister will be heard in silence.

Mr JAENSCH - Thank you, Mr Speaker. Everybody knows, and we stated again yesterday, and I said as part of my public statements yesterday, that Tasmania is below net zero greenhouse gas emissions now. We are very proud of that position. That has come about through major change and sacrifice in Tasmania, as the Premier also said yesterday.

We are in this position of net negative greenhouse gas emissions. Our challenge is to maintain that. Anyone who has read the emissions pathway modelling report recently commissioned by our Government, will see that the projection is that if we do nothing new and different we will lose that status within around five years, certainly before 2030 -

Dr Woodruff - That is why we need sectoral targets. That is why every other state is doing that.

Mr SPEAKER - Dr Woodruff, order.

Mr JAENSCH - We will become again a net emitter of greenhouse gases. Therefore, if we are going to maintain our net negative status we are going to need to set a target to ensure that we plan and our economy plans to reduce our emissions and be net negative from 2030.

This is not a target that has been met that lets us now just cruise. The Opposition, in their release and their response yesterday to our announcement of a 2030 net zero emissions target, also said this is a target that has already been met. We are in net zero territory now. Our challenge is to ensure that we are still net zero at 2030 and that we continue to be net zero from 2030. This is the most ambitious emissions reduction target in Australia. It is one of the most ambitious in the world.

I cannot fathom why the Greens, who used to stand for strong action on climate change, cannot celebrate and welcome that target. I am at an absolute loss to know what the Opposition stands for at all.