Returning Deputy PM threatens Australian agriculture for coal

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Barnaby Joyce’s return poses a problem for Australian agriculture. But he and his supporters are focusing on fossil fuels, not the bush.

(Image: Tom Red / Private Media)

While Australia is already an international laggard on climate action, the return of climate denier and alleged sexual harasser Barnaby Joyce as Deputy Prime Minister threatens to elevate us to pariah status. And the extent to which the government can be trustworthy with regard to the commitments it makes at the international level is now seriously questioned.

Joyce and the far-right slap, mostly from the Queensland Nationals he leads, aren’t just opponents of a net zero goal in 2050 – which, for all the press gallery’s obsession, is too little too late to prevent very damaging climate change – – but will push for more coal-fired electricity, aimed at to augment Australia’s emissions, rather than reducing them.

And the mechanism by which they will pursue that goal is a completely secretive two-man deal that will give a handful of MPs a veto on key policies. Australians, let alone the rest of the world, will not be allowed to see the deal. Without this transparency, we cannot trust everything the government says about the climate.

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