11 November 2020

My question on this appropriation is for the Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment. Last month, Japan and South Korea adopted targets of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. China adopted its net zero by 2060 target in September. Not only has the United Kingdom already passed laws to ensure net zero carbon emissions by 2050; British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called our own Prime Minister last month to ask him to do the same. Together, these economies receive more than $310 billion in Australian exports annually. Minister, why won't the Morrison government commit to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 when all our main trading partners and major economies already have?

As we know, the Prime Minister isn't for turning. Even though we know he's a pragmatist and a shapeshifter, it appears he is hamstrung on net zero emissions. In fact, when pressed on Australia's increasing isolation on climate change policy among trading partners, the Prime Minister has boldly stated he is not concerned about our future exports. Minister, why aren't the Prime Minister and the Morrison government concerned about our future exports? Given such global instability due to the coronavirus pandemic and staring down the barrel of a global recession, Minister, shouldn't Australia be doing all it can to be a competitive trading partner on the world stage? Does the minister agree that our future exports won't be adversely affected by the rest of the world moving ahead with net zero emission targets and introducing carbon tariffs while Australia lags behind?

Minister, why won't the Morrison government commit to net zero emissions by 2050 when important peak bodies such as the National Farmers Federation, the Business Council of Australia and the Australian Industry Group have already committed to the target? Why won't the Morrison government commit to net zero by 2050 when resource and energy companies such as Woodside, BHP, BP, Rio Tinto and Santos—companies driving the economy and providing jobs for hundreds of thousands of Australians—have committed to a net zero emissions target by 2050?

Minister, why won't the Morrison government commit to net zero 2050 when other conservative governments have? Another question: has the Morrison government conducted modelling on the potential impact on Australia's projected trade wealth in response to these reports of carbon tariffs in international trade? Minister—I will leave time for an answer to these questions, even though I know I won't get any—again, given that global tariffs on carbon are likely to come in with the EU agreement and increasingly with the new Biden presidency in 2021, why is the Morrison government not concerned about our future exports?