He said the government was “leading the world on renewable energy technologies” and Australia was “getting the job done”.
“We’re carrying our weight,” Mr Morrison said. “But I tell you what I’m not going to do. I’m not going to put a carbon tax on people. I’m not going to increase their electricity prices and their costs of living.
“And I’m not going to wipe out resource industries upon which hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Australians depend for their living.”
World Vision, Oxfam, Plan International and Save the Children will on Tuesday call on the government to urgently set more ambitious emission reduction targets in line with keeping the global temperature rise to within 1.5 degrees.
The aid agencies will highlight the food crisis unfolding in southern Africa, severe flash flooding in Indonesia and the devastating bushfire season in Australia as some of the biggest impacts of climate change.
“Climate change is undoubtedly a human rights issue. It impacts upon the realisation of the right to life, health, an adequate standard of living and non-discrimination,” the aid groups said.
“Every day, our aid workers see the very real and devastating impact of climate change on the world’s most vulnerable people. This includes children, who have contributed least to the crisis but are already bearing the brunt of its impacts.”
“Now the climate emergency has well and truly arrived at home, too. Australians are suffering through the devastating ongoing fallout from our worst fire season on record, with dozens of lives, thousands of homes and more than a billion creatures lost. Fires continue to rage and millions are breathing in hazardous air across three states.”
Following Labor’s announcement it is likely to consider a net zero emissions target by 2050, Mr Morrison said his government had undertaken to look at the same target through the Pacific Islands Forum.
“I can’t answer that question right now about what that would mean for jobs. But I’m concerned that it wouldn’t be a good thing and so I think people who make these commitments need to be able to tell people what that will cost them.”
Federal Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said on Monday that he hoped Australia would not need to use carryover credits from achieving its Kyoto targets to meet a 26 per cent target by 2030.
“Just as we’ve seen in the past, where we have taken carryover credits but then we’ve gone on and exceeded in terms of meeting targets and those carryover credits have not been necessary – that the type of surplus we can generate, the type of delivery of emissions reduction and level of emissions reduction we can achieve can well and truly exceed the levels of those carryover credits,” he told Sky News.
“That’s got to be the ambition in terms of the way in which we seek, as a government, to be able to reduce our emissions and reduce Australia’s emissions into the future and applying all of those new technologies.”
Rob Harris is the National Affairs Editor for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, based at Parliament House in Canberra
Anthony is foreign affairs and national security correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.