The prime minister is wrong to suggest technology is key to cutting carbon emissions, Labor leader Anthony Albanese says.
Scott Morrison used his first major speech of the year to downplay the importance of international climate change agreements and caution against imposing new taxes to curb emissions.
“He’s wrong. We’ve seen the impact of climate change. We’ve seen it, we’ve felt it, we’ve smelt it,” Mr Albanese told ABC radio on Thursday.
“It has had a devastating impact over the summer.”
Labor’s shadow cabinet will travel to the bushfire-devastated Batemans Bay on the NSW south coast next Friday when the first week of parliament for the year wraps up.
Mr Albanese said he wants his colleagues to see the devastation first-hand.
Batemans Bay sits in the Labor-held seat of Gilmore while the neighbouring electorate Eden Monaro – also hard hit by bushfires – is also an opposition-held seat.
Mr Morrison used his speech to continue defending the government’s emissions reduction efforts, repeating his mantra of “making and breaking” an emissions reduction target of a 26 per cent cut by 2030.
“If legitimate carryover credits are not necessary, then even better,” he said.
Mr Albanese said the prime minister was wrong to suggest pollution was going in the right direction.
“The government continues to just come up with a whole lot of words and no action,” he said.
“Our emissions are not going down.”
The Australian Conservation Foundation says Mr Morrison’s desire to increase the nation’s gas exploration will not help the climate.
“If serious action is not taken to tackle the root cause of climate damage – the digging up and burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas – the federal government will oversee a future of far worse bushfire seasons and more extreme weather events.”