Barnaby Joyce says Australia won’t be following Donald Trump’s lead on climate change policies.
Barnaby Joyce says Australia won’t be following Donald Trump’s lead on climate change policies. Claudia Baxter

Barnaby Joyce distances Australia from Trump climate policy

AUSTRALIA won't be following Donald Trump's lead on renewable energy policies, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce says.

It comes after calls from within the Coalition to scrap Australia's renewable energy targets if the US President attempts to withdraw from the Paris climate change agreement.

Speaking from the G20 meeting of Agriculture ministers in Berlin, the Nationals leader said Australia's renewable energy targets were "reasonable" and "achievable".

"We are not the United States of Australia, we are just Australia," Mr Joyce told ABC radio.

"The United States will look after their business and we'll look after ours," he said.

"We have to have a commitment that is reasonable and we have to have a commitment that is achievable.

"We have to have a commitment that doesn't put undue pressure on our own power prices and our capacity to deliver affordable electricity Australian households."

Mr Joyce's comments come after a number of Coalition MPs told The Australian there was no point in the Turnbull Government pursuing the current renewable energy targets if the US tried to walk away from the Paris agreement.

Australia has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030.
But one Coalition MP told The Australian it would be "the perfect opportunity" for Australia to back out too.

Another said Australia shouldn't try to lead the world on climate change policies if it meant electricity prices would go up.

"Let's see what Donald Trump does, but it stands to reason that we should not be trying to lead the world on this and if other countries are not going to be playing their part, whether it is right, wrong or indifferent, if we try to sacrifice our economy and household budgets to make no environmental difference we would be doing not only ourselves a great disservice but also the environment," the MP said.

Liberal MP Julian Leeser told Sky News this morning he backed the current renewable energy target but believed the government should be flexible once Chief Scientist Alan Finkel releases his final report on Australia's energy future.

"In the event that evidence is presented that we should reduce that target, well then we should look at reducing or increasing that target as the case may be," Mr Leeser said.

The Prime Minister has previously downplayed concerns about President Trump withdrawing from the Paris climate change agreement as no country can withdraw before November 2020.

News Corp Australia


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