Ready for more climate talk?
Because you’ll be hearing a lot of it today. Again.
Despite being one of the governing parties for the past eight years, and being heavily involved in the climate policy wars, the Nationals, led by Barnaby Joyce, have apparently never before considered a net zero by 2050 target. All we heard yesterday was how they needed to take their time to consider it, because it would be “reckless” to make a decision after a four-hour meeting. Four hours and eight years, but who’s counting?
The Liberals and the Nationals are coming together for the first time in six months this morning, in a joint party room meeting, where they will hear more rah-rah speeches about how great the yet-to-be-publicly announced technology roadmap and climate plan is.
In case you missed it yesterday, Scott Morrison told the Liberal party room that it would be cabinet that made the decision about net zero by 2050. Which means that if the Nationals MPs who sit in cabinet aren’t happy with the decision, they should technically resign and head back to what Joyce calls the “corridor of the nearly dead” – the backbench.
When that was raised yesterday, it was dismissed as a hypothetical. But it’s not. You can have splits in the party but not in cabinet – cabinet solidarity is taken pretty seriously. So if the Nationals decide to stay in cabinet, then they have to accept the climate policy and help sell it. Which could make things a little interesting, given some of the rhetoric.
And meanwhile, regional Liberal MPs, including Senator Hollie Hughes, are taking the opportunity to remind the Nationals that the Liberals actually represent more of the regions than their junior Coalition partner – 24 rural and regional Liberal MPs to 21 Nationals – so everything seems to be going fine.
Just remember though, they we are only talking about 2050. The discussion of anything happening in this decade – the interim 2030 target – is off the table. And that is where the international community is at. So while the rest of the world is talking 2030, we are stuck in 2050 – when none of these people will be in parliament. Good times.
Mike Bowers will bring you into parliament through his camera (as well as his network of secret squirrels) and Katharine Murphy, Paul Karp, Sarah Martin and Daniel Hurst will help make everything make sense.
Amy Remeikis is on the blog with you for most of the day. I am about to make my third coffee. You ready?