09 February 2021

Trade Minister Dan Tehan must explain how the Morrison Governments climate inaction will affect a proposed free-trade agreement with the European Union, in the wake of the European Parliaments decision to back a carbon price on imports.

Reports today suggest the European Union will introduce a carbon border tax, which would require Australian exporters to pay a levy based on the amount of carbon used in making and shipping their products.

The EU is also insisting on stronger climate targets as a condition of the FTA it is negotiating with Australia.

Many of Australias largest exporters support the net zero target because they understand Australia can become a clean energy superpower, leading to stronger economic growth and more jobs.

More than 120 countries worldwide have adopted this target, and more than 70 per cent of Australias two-way trade is now with countries moving to net zero by the middle of the century.

Scott Morrison has said: I am not concerned about our future exports.

And yesterday, Nationals leader Michael McCormack said he was not worried about what might happen in 30 years time.

The climate and energy policy chaos will lead to dwindling opportunities for our exporters.

Exporters around the nation have their finger on the pulse, and they are worried about future exports.

Of course they are their jobs rely on thinking ahead and theyve been doing it for years.

The NZE target is backed by every state and territory in Australia, key business groups, the National Farmers Federation, big resources companies, our biggest airline, our biggest bank, and countless experts and scientists.

And the embattled Climate Change Minister, Mr Taylor, is nowhere to be seen.

Mr Tehan must explain how the Governments failure to adopt a target of net zero emissions by 2050 will affect Australian exports and jeopardise Australias FTA negotiations with the EU.

This Government has its head in the sand about carbon borders -- and our exporters, with the jobs they create, will pay the price.