Zali Steggall asks PM if the government will stop funding and approving fossil fuel projects

10 November 2022


Ms. STEGALL (Warringah): My question is to the Prime Minister. COP27 is currently bringing together world leaders to address climate change. The planet has already warmed by 1.2 degrees, with escalating climate-induced disasters and costs crippling communities, yet current pledges—including your government's inadequate 43 per cent by 2030—have us on track for three degrees of warming. Will your government stop making the problem worse by funding and approving further fossil fuel projects?


Mr. ALBANESE (GrayndlerPrime Minister): I thank the member for her question and for her genuine engagement on the issue of climate change since she has arrived in this parliament as the member for Warringah.

In the preamble to her question, the member pointed out what was happening at COP27 and spoke about the global effort, because, indeed, climate change does require a global effort. One of the things that has occurred already at COP27 is the previous chair of COP—the person who chaired the Glasgow conference and was the Minister for the Conference of the Parties, as part of the UK Conservative government—has welcomed Australia back as part of the global effort, as have all of the delegates at NATO, as did Prime Minister Johnson, Prime Minister Truss, President Biden, Prime Minister Kishida, Prime Minister Modi.

The fact is that Australia has been welcomed back due to the fact that we changed, as one of our first acts, our nationally determined contribution to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. We did that with the commitment that we took to the election of 43 per cent reduction by 2030 as part of our commitment to have a pathway to net zero by 2050.

Australia has fallen behind from where it should be because we've had a decade of denial, a decade of delay. We didn't have any climate policy. And when the former government reluctantly adopted a target—not really, because they weren't prepared to legislate it—of net zero by 2050, there was no policy to go with it.

This government understands that we need to deal with energy policy, transport policy and housing policy. We need to make homes more efficient, we need to change the make-up of our transport network in accordance with what's happening around the world, and we need to move to the cheapest and cleanest form of new energy, which is renewables. We need to do that in partnership with the rest of the world, and I look forward in coming days to meeting with global leaders and talking about how we cooperate. I know in the lead-up to the G20, when I've spoken with people like Prime Minister Sunak of the UK, and in the past few days with the leaders of Vietnam, Thailand and other nations in our region, the first thing that they raised was climate change. I am optimistic that the world can move. I want Australia to be a part of that, and my government's commitment is to do just that.