Energy Minister Angus Taylor is staring down industry and environmental group criticism, saying the federal election has earned the coalition a mandate to implement its own climate policies.
Mr Taylor rejected calls to cut a deal with Labor on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and ruled out reviving the National Energy Guarantee.
“We’re firmly committed to the policies we took to the election. We now have a clear mandate to implement those policies and we’ll be doing so,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday.
“Labor should adopt our plan, which was supported by the Australian people, and I know industry wants to see bipartisanship.”
Mr Taylor repeated his stance on Sky News later Tuesday, saying the most important thing was the delivery of climate targets.
“We’re going to meet our international obligations, as we did with our Kyoto 1 obligations in 2010,” he said.
“We’ll meet our Kyoto 2 obligations easily in 2020, and of course we will again for Paris in 2030.”
“There are a lot of countries on the world that haven’t delivered,” he said.
Mr Taylor said Australia was one of the few countries in the world that had consistently met its reduction targets.
“We’ve been an out-performer on this issue,” he said.
Industry groups, including the Business Council of Australia, backed the National Energy Guarantee when it was put forward last year, before the coalition scrapped the policy months later.
Labor promised to revive the plan if it won the federal election.
Mr Taylor said the government would not consider using the National Energy Guarantee to reduce emissions.
“We don’t need to, he said, adding another feature of the policy – a reliability obligation on electricity generators – would come into effect in July.
“Now is the opportunity for Labor to accept the policy we took to the election and create a bipartisan approach to these issues,” Mr Taylor said.
Meanwhile Labor’s newly minted leader headed straight to Queensland on Tuesday but has refused to reveal his position on the Adani mine, saying climate science debate should not be reduced to one mine.
With the mine considered to have contributed to Labor’s poor election showing in Queensland, Mr Albanese has been under pressure to declare whether or not he believes Adani’s proposed Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin stacks up economically.
But the Sydney-based MP insists that’s not his job.
“It’s not up to government to determine that, it’s up to markets themselves,” he told ABC radio on Tuesday.
“What it’s up to governments to do is to give environmental approvals. That’s happened of course at the federal level. At the state level, that’s being considered.”
The Labor leader has made clear he has little love for anti-Adani activists who toured Australia, including towns in central Queensland, during the election campaign.
“The truth is that that was incredibly provocative and did nothing to advance, in my view, a genuine debate about climate change,” he said.
“On climate change, the science is in. We need to act. But to reduce it to a debate about a single mine is in my view very unproductive, it does nothing to advance the debate.
“Good policy is about jobs, as well as about clean energy, as well as about making sure that we take the community with us.”
The ALP has only one remaining regional Queensland MP – Shayne Neumann – who said the visit was a good first start for Labor to win back favour in the state.