Q+A: Oct 21

Can Australia’s politicians finally agree on a policy to cut emissions and create a green economy?

David Speers hosts Q+A live from Melbourne this week, discussing the hotly-disputed pathway to net zero.

As world leaders prepare to gather in Glasgow, can Australia’s politicians finally agree on a policy to cut emissions and create a green economy?

Climate policy has been a divisive topic in Australian politics for years but Prime Minister Scott Morrison is hoping to have a deal when he attends the COP26 Climate Summit at the end of this month. However, Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce is warning that his colleagues won’t be “forced into a corner” on emissions targets. Can last-minute talks between the Liberal and National parties deliver a deal that will put Australia on track to reach net zero emissions by 2050?

Many senior Liberals, including Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, are backing a net zero goal. Labor wants any new targets to be legislated, a scenario which could see Coalition MPs pitted against each other on the floor of the Parliament.

And as the political squabbling continues, coal mining communities in places like the Hunter Valley and Central Queensland’s Bowen Basin say their voices are being lost in the debate.

Does a detailed emissions reduction policy stand any chance in the current climate?

Meanwhile after months of severe restrictions, lockdown is ending for Melbourne and regional Victoria on Thursday night. Daily COVID case numbers remain high, but new modelling shows that surging vaccination rates indicate the state’s hospital system will cope. In NSW, more freedoms are on the table after the population hit its 80 per cent double-vaccination target earlier than expected. And Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the Queensland border will begin a phased reopening next month to those who are fully vaccinated.

Simon Holmes à Court, Cleantech investor and Founder of Climate 200
Tim Wilson, Assistant Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reductions
Chris Bowen, Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy
Amelia Telford, National Director of the Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network
Anne Baker, Mayor of Isaac Regional Council

8:30pm Thursday on ABC.

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