Barnaby Joyce has called the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) recommendation to phase out coal by 2050 as “wrong and ridiculous”, while once again suggesting Australians need to look at nuclear power.
Last weekend the IPCC, the world’s foremost panel on climate change, issued a report stating global greenhouse gas emissions must reach zero by 2050 in order to stop global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The authors warned that if warming was allowed to reach 2C, the world would risk hitting "tipping points", setting a course towards uncontrollable temperatures, as well as the complete destruction of the Great Barrier Reef, and devastating rises in sea levels.
This week the Federal Government rubbished the report, instead backing coal fired power stations to drive down electricity prices, and Mr Joyce agrees.
“To say that I’m not allowed to get one product (coal) and say that you’re not allowed to use it anymore is wrong, and more than that it is ridiculous,” he said.
“We must drive for cheaper power, and we are going to need base load power.”
Mr Joyce believes that the inability for Australians to agree on power sources is a major factor in soaring electricity prices as well, citing resistance to the proposed solar farm at Invergowrie and wind farm at Nundle as a “microcosm” of the greater problem.
“They don’t want the solar farm on prime agricultural land – fair enough, the wind towers at Nundle, nobody wants it, because they say they don’t want it to upset the landscape,” he said.
“So then we say you’re really narrowing us down here, so let’s go to coal fired power…. but they say we don’t believe in coal fired power, so we go nuclear, and they say they don’t believe in nuclear.
“So how on earth does this equation work….. because we are neither Arthur or Martha you’re ending up with power prices going through the roof.”
The former Nationals leader did say that zero emissions are possible, although Australians “have to grasp the mettle and look at nuclear technology.”