O’Brien under fire for denouncing net zero emissions target
Wide Bay MP Llew O’Brien has come under fire after he claimed Australia should not meet a net zero emissions by 2050 target.
- O’Brien: ‘Net zero emissions will cost Aussie livelihoods’
- Government baulks at Nats’ pro-coal power play
The Deputy Speaker said earlier this week meeting such a target “would cost hundreds of thousands of Australians their livelihoods” amid reports he was among at least five government MPs moving to back a plan to make it easier for the government to invest cash into coal-fired power stations.
“Most of those job losses would be in regional towns because it is our farming, mining and manufacturing industries that would be worst hit,” he said, estimating 400,000 Aussie jobs would go based on economic modelling in New Zealand.
He said renewable energy investments like the Forest Wind Project in the Tuan Forest were “great”, but could not be relied on alone.
Multiple comments left on The Gympie Times website were critical of Mr O’Brien’s views.
LOVEGYMPIE: “Hmm, we’re a huge country with loads of sun, wind and surrounded completely by an ocean and yet they constantly concentrate on coal power. SA has shown battery storage works. Without zero emissions, so many lives will be lost.”
GEOFFS15: “As usual you are wrong on every level O’Brien. The Nationals are even abandoning the very base that votes for you. The National Farmers Federation and the Grain Growers Limited all support Net Zero by 2050, Meat and Livestock Australia actually have a target of Net Zero by 2030 and have a road map on how to get there.”
JOHNDEWIT: “We absolutely need net zero emissions. The sooner the better. This will cost certain kinds of jobs – but new approaches have always created more jobs and opportunities. Anyway there is no real choice. And let’s have a carbon tax too. It’s the only realistic way to support, organise and move forward to net zero emissions. The mad political spin – making us believe that carbon tax is a bad thing – is a disservice to all Australians – and the world.”
But the comment section wasn’t entirely one-sided:
BETTYC3: “One only needs to read all the details of what has occurred in Texas USA to let it be a warning that renewables are not the answer to reliable and affordable power.”
CHERIEH10: “Good on you, Llew, for speaking out, and doing what you can. We need to utilise all our resources and ought to have affordable reliable power, and bring back manufacturing. There is no excuse for what just happened in Texas: their power going out during extreme weather conditions due to unreliable “renewable” sources.”
Mr O’Brien dismissed claims Australia was behind on both net zero and Paris 2030 targets, pointing the finger at France, New Zealand and Canada.
He said a net zero by 2050 target was “pointless” if China could not be trusted to meet its own targets.
“We are on track to meet our Paris commitments and that was all laid bare in the Government‘s latest emissions projections,” Mr O’Brien said.
“In contrast, even a French court the other day found that France was not meeting its emissions targets. And, New Zealand and Canada did not meet their Kyoto targets, which came due in 2020.
“Another reason that we should not sign up to a net zero target is can one really trust China to adhere to such a target? And if you can’t trust the world’s largest emitter to cut their emissions the whole exercise is pointless.”