Angus Taylor shrugs off climate rally concerns

Emissions Reductions Minister Angus Taylor insists Australia is playing its role in reducing pollution, shrugging off protesters calls for greater action.

Emissions Reductions Minister Angus Taylor

Minister Angus Taylor insists Australia is doing enough to reduce greenhouse emissions. (AAP)

The minister responsible for reducing Australia's pollution levels has shrugged off calls for stronger climate action from hundreds of thousands of protesters.

Minister for Emissions Reductions Angus Taylor insists the nation is on track to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris target, which is a 26 to 28 per cent reduction on 2005 levels by 2030.

"This has to be globally coordinated action and Australia needs to do its bit, and we are," Mr Taylor told ABC's Insiders program on Sunday after climate protesters called for net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.


School students and workers took to the streets on Friday for climate action, with a transition to 100 per cent renewable energy also on their list of demands.

"It's good to see we've got active citizens amongst our kids, we always encourage that," Mr Taylor said.

"I don't think it should be at the expense of their education."

Australia's emissions have increased over the past few years, largely on the back of rising LNG exports, as well as steel and aluminium production.

Stefan Armbruster
Source: Stefan Armbruster

Mr Taylor has framed the rise of local emissions due to LNG as a positive for the world, arguing that countries like China, Japan and South Korea have lowered emissions by using LNG.

But he wouldn't be drawn on how Australia's coal exports are doing the opposite.

"Because the growth has been in LNG exports," Mr Taylor said.

The minister says the coalition's climate solutions package has mapped out "to the last tonne" how Australia will meet its 2030 targets.

Thousands of protesters gathered in Sydney.
Thousands of protesters gathered in Sydney. Source: Abbie O'Brien

The government has set aside $2 billion to pay companies for projects to reduce Australia's emissions by 100 million tonnes, making up the largest portion of the plan.

The calculations also include credits from meeting previous emissions reduction targets under the Kyoto protocol.

However, the global rules allowing their use are yet to be finalised.

Meanwhile, UN climate talks are set to begin in New York on Monday, with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calling for the Paris targets to be doubled and for nations to be carbon neutral by 2050.

Mr Taylor has not set targets post-2030 but says hydrogen will play an important role down the track.

Labor is reviewing all of its policies, which includes reducing emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 on 2005 levels.

3 min read
Published 22 September 2019 at 12:30pm