News Politics Australian Politics Barnaby Joyce reveals a little glimpse of what Nationals got for backing net zero

Barnaby Joyce reveals a little glimpse of what Nationals got for backing net zero

Barnaby Joyce boasted of the concession obtained in calculating the carbon cost of exported coal. Photo: AAP
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Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce has finally revealed some of the detail his party secured in agreeing with the plan for net zero emissions by 2050, including a regional fund to assist the transition.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is in Rome for the G20 Summit and will then head to the UN climate conference in Glasgow to present Australia’s emissions reduction plan.

Mr Joyce, the Nationals leader and currently acting prime minister, said if what people say about global trends is correct, then there is a need for a parallel income for regional Australia.

“They need a fund that actually inspires the new businesses that will employ people to start up, if what the globe is saying is going to happen,” Mr Joyce told Sky News’ Sunday Agenda program

However, he did not divulge how big the fund would be.

Carbon-cost accounting

The Nationals also secured the exclusion of so-called ‘scope 3 emissions’, which accounts for emissions from coal mining in Australia and then accounts for them again when the coal is burned in China.

“It’s basically double accounting,” Mr Joyce said. “We had to make sure we maintained what is a vital part of regional Australia.”

Energy and Emissions Reductions Minister Angus Taylor is travelling with the prime minister to Glasgow.

He told ABC’s Insiders program from Rome the government has allocated $20 billion over the next ten years to put Australia on the path to 2050 through new technologies.

“That’s the goal and that means you avoid having to pay the very significant cost of having a carbon tax,” Mr Taylor said.

Repeatedly pressed on whether the $20 billion outlay will be sufficient to reach the 2050 target, Mr Taylor said: “What a government in the 2040s, or 2045 or 2047 spends will be up to that government.”

No carbon tax

“We don’t need to impose a carbon tax.”

But former Liberal finance minister and now Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Mattheus Cormann believes there needs to be a price on carbon.

“I have had a consistent view that in order to be generally effective and publicly supported over the long run you need a globally coordinated approach,” Mr Cormann told Sky News in Rome.

“A consistently applied price on carbon globally could be the most efficient.”