Australia should quit Paris Agreement, urge Coalition MPs

Australia should quit Paris Agreement, urge Coalition MPs, by Joe Kelly.

A breakaway group of Coalition MPs is urging Malcolm Turnbull to consider pulling Australia out of the Paris climate accord after Donald Trump abandoned the agreement and shattered the international consensus on limiting global temperature increases.

Labor yesterday questioned the global leadership of the US as it seized on the rift in government ranks, with Bill Shorten warning the Prime Minister not to be “dragged by the right wing of his party into following President Trump’s actions”.

Mr Turnbull signalled he would stare down backbench dissent over the Paris accord, confirming the government was standing by its commitment to reduce emissions by 26-28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030. He also sought to play down the impact of Mr Trump’s announcement, noting the President was delivering on an election promise. “The President’s announcement is not a surprise. It was a very core campaign commitment of his. It is disappointing,” Mr Turnbull said in Singapore. “We would prefer the US to remain part of the agreement. We are committed to the Paris Agreement.”

Several Coalition backbenchers spoke out to question the value of the Paris Agreement and whether Australia should reconsider its involvement. Queensland senator Ian Macdonald called for a review to consider an Australian withdrawal, arguing Mr Trump’s decision would “bring a new serious look at the whole question of climate change”.

hat-tip Stephen Neil