Malcolm Turnbull has lashed Scott Morrison’s “pathetic” sledges about inner city elites in wine bars and climate change policy, urging him to act on more ambitious targets.
Reigniting the climate change wars in the Coalition, the former Prime Minister has been increasingly outspoken in recent months, accusing Mr Morrison of “dodging” real action.
But it was the Prime Minister’s latest sledge over climate change activists in “wine bars” being irrelevant to real climate change action that left his predecessor underwhelmed.
“Scott Morrison should cut the pathetic culture war sledges and commit to an ambitious emissions reduction target with a plan of action to get there,’’ Mr Turnbull told news.com.au.
“The bluster and the dodging is wearing very thin.”
The Prime Minister has been slowly edging towards support for net zero emissions without putting a time frame on the ambition. However, he’s widely expected to land on a 2050 deadline.
“We are going to meet our ambitions with the smartest minds, the best technology and the animal spirits of our business community,” Mr Morrison told the Business Council on Monday night.
“We’re not going to achieve net zero in the cafes, dinner parties and wine bars of our inner cities.
“It will be won in places like the Pilbara, the Hunter, Gladstone, Portland, Whyalla, Bell Bay, the Riverina. In the factories of our regional towns and outer suburbs.”
The Prime Minister will announce a $539 million boost to new investments in clean hydrogen and carbon capture technologies on Wednesday, predicting it will create around 2,500 jobs, support Australian industry and manufacturing into the future and further drive down Australia’s emissions.
“It is essential we position Australia to succeed by investing now in the technologies that will support our industries into the future, with lower emissions energy that can support Australian jobs,” the Prime Minister said.
“There is a strong appetite from business for the new emissions reduction technologies that they know will be needed to run their operations and keep employing Australians and grow jobs for the future.
“We want to make clean energy more affordable and reliable, while looking for ways our investments can get more people into work.
“We cannot pretend the world is not changing. If we do, we run the risk of stranding jobs in this country, especially in regional areas.
Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor backed the “practical, technological solutions to reduce emissions, not big new taxes.”
“We are backing technology to meet our 2030 target and get to net zero,” Minister Taylor said.
“It’s a tangible example of our commitment to being a low emissions technology leader and reducing emissions through technology not taxes, or imposing costs on households, businesses or the economy.”
However, Mr Turnbull has previously describing the Coalition’s gas-led recovery, as a “fantasy” “crazy” and “mad ideology” and “bonkers”.
The climate change debate was central to his loss of the prime ministership in 2018 and the Liberal leadership in 2009.
Mr Turnbull said no amount of “patronising mansplaining” from Mr Taylor would change the fact that gas was not as cheap as it’s proponents suggested.
“Angus has got quite a sophisticated understanding of the energy market, and he is speaking through the political side of his brain rather than his economic side,’’ he said.
“The idea that you crash the economy by cutting your emissions is just again, that’s ideology taking the place of what should be sound environmental and economic policy.”