Nationals leader David Littleproud has warned that Labor’s “reckless” climate agenda on a global stage will cost Australian households, as he supports the Prime Minister’s decision not to attend the United Nations climate conference.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has chosen to forgo the 2022 conference, known as COP27, held in Sharm El-Eheikh in Egypt from November 6 to 18.
Australia will be represented by Energy Minister Chris Bowen and Assistant Minister Jenny McAllister at the annual event, which will be attended by both US President Joe Biden and newly elected UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
Mr Littleproud backed the choice but criticised the Labor leader for making global emission cuts pledges on a “global stage” without explaining who will pay for them at home.
“I think you’ve got to get the balance right, I don’t begrudge the Prime Minister going overseas,” Mr Littleproud told Englishheadline Australia on Sunday morning.
“I’m quite open to that. It is important that he does represent us on the global stage and any prime minister for that matter of [any] political persuasion.
“He’s obviously made a commitment on our behalf of 43 per cent by 2030. But unfortunately, I think what he needs to do is stay here and explain to Australians how we’re going to get there and who pays for it.”
The Albanese government passed their landmark climate change legislation in September which enshrined 43 per cent emissions reduction by 2030 and net zero by 2050 into law, while establishing formal review processes from the Climate Change Authority.
However, Mr Littleproud criticised the government for being “reckless” and letting their ideology drive policy amid rising food and energy bills.
“It’s great to stand on the world stage and make commitments, ultimately someone has to pay for it,” he said on Sunday Agenda.
“The wheels are falling off because the ideology doesn’t match the practical reality.
“Your real competitive advantage Australia has, is the sovereignty of our resources.”
The Nationals leader warned that the Labor government is moving too fast towards renewables, pumping $20 billion into transmission efforts under their Rewiring the Nation plan, without considering the impact to struggling households.
Mr Littleproud’s support of Mr Albanese’s missing the United Nations climate conference was a stark contrast to the Prime Minister’s criticism of his predecessor last year.
Last year Mr Albanese was critical of then-prime minister Scott Morrison’s reluctance to attend the COP26 in Glasgow.
“He should represent Australia. If he doesn’t, it’s because he’s embarrassed about Australia’s position,” Mr Albanese said at the time.
Mr Albanese defended his decision not to attend by stating the conference this year was not about announcing any new policies or targets.
It is understood that the Prime Minister will attend Parliament throughout the week before flying to Phnom Penh, Cambodia for the ASEAN Summit and then attending the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia.