The Opposition Australian Labor Party (ALP) joined forces with Greens and minor parties to vote in favour of declaring a climate emergency but were defeated by the governing Liberal-National party (LNP) coalition in federal Parliament.
During a debate on the motion, Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor declared the actions of the opposition a symbolic act and not practical.
“Labor’s hollow symbolism will not deliver a single tonne of emissions reduction … by contrast this government is taking meaningful actions.” said he, according to the recent report of The Sydney Morning Herald.
Australia has committed to reducing carbon emissions by 26-28 percent from 2005 levels by 2030 under the Paris climate accord.
However, according to figures released by Taylor emissions rose by 0.6 percent in the 12 months to March 2018.
The ALP is currently engaged in an internal debate on its climate policy.
The party went in to May’s general election, which it lost in a shock result, promising to reduce emissions by 45 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.
Conservative members of the party have urged leader Anthony Albanese to pursue a less ambitious target in order to be more electable.
Albanese told The Australian that his party would not declare its emissions reduction targets until closer to the next election, likely in 2022.
“We need to know where we are at. If (emissions continue to go up) obviously our challenge will be more difficult,” he said.
“But we will deal with it based upon the facts, based upon where we are at that point in time. That is a sensible thing to do.” (Xinhua=Newsis)