Barnaby Joyce: Nationals won’t be ‘held hostage’ over net-zero carbon emissions target

Barnaby Joyce says the Nationals will not be ‘held hostage’ over a net-zero carbon emissions reduction target.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce says the Nationals will not be “held hostage” amid scheduled discussions about a plan for a net-zero carbon emissions reduction target by 2050.

The Nationals are meeting on Sunday and while it is expected the party will back the policy, it is not yet known what concessions members will demand in exchange.

Asked before the meeting whether he was concerned that if the Nationals did not agree to net-zero it would ruin the party’s chances at the next election, Mr Joyce said that was a decision for others.

“We are not in the Liberal party room. We are the Nationals. We will not be held hostage to what other people wish,” he said.

Mr Joyce said it was highly unlikely the party would support increasing the 2030 target to reduce emissions by 26-28 per cent of 2005 levels.

“On this issue, I would say no because I have got to be honest and say what is your views on the room on that issue? I would say, no, I don’t think that is going to happen,” he said.

The meeting comes ahead of the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow, which Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed on Friday that he would attend.

The federal government has indicated it will reveal its revised emissions targets ahead of the summit, while Labor will outline its targets closer to the next election.

“We don’t know what the ambition of the government is,” Shadow Finance Minister Katy Gallagher told the Insiders program on Sunday morning.

“I think what we’ve seen (is) eight years, three prime ministers, 21 energy policies and now we’ve got the Prime Minister trying to wrangle a last minute deal with the National party about what they actually stand for.

“The government needs to govern, they’re in charge, they need to agree to net zero, they need to legislate that target and they need to set medium targets — that is the minimum that the government should be doing.”

Senator Gallagher said Labor would watch what happens in Glasgow.

“We will announce our policies in the lead-up to the election,” she said.

“I think that’s the responsible thing to do.

“We will have different components to those policies but I’m not in a position this morning to let you know exactly what they are.”

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