Australian prime minister abandons climate change targets

21 August, 2018, 06:09 | Author: Rosalie Gross
  • Treasurer Scott Morrison has rejected claims the Turnbull government's energy policy is dead

The prime minister of Australia was fighting for his political life last night as conservative backbench MPs plotted to topple him. Malcolm Turnbull took over in 2008 for his first iteration as Liberal leader.

"We always thought that he was convicted on climate change issues".

However the ABC understands that despite Mr Dutton challenging him for the leadership, Mr Turnbull later offered his rival the chance to stay on.

The PM's desperate attempt to quell the rebellion in his ranks came as Queensland Liberal National Party president Gary Spence was reportedly urging MPs in his State to replace Mr Turnbull with the Home Affairs Minister, Mr Dutton.

Coincidentally, Turnbull as opposition leader in November 2009 faced a spill motion.

Australians can not reasonably be asked to put their trust in Turnbull at the next election if he can not even claim that from close to half of his own colleagues. The next day Tony Abbott challenged but then declared he would back Joe Hockey. The next election is due by 2019. I've spoken to nearly all the cabinet ministers from the Liberal Party.

Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese said the prime minister should call an election, if he survives the week.

'It's become pretty clear, it's been a pretty torrid decade, ' he said.

Minister for Social Services Dan Tehan said Mr Turnbull's leadership was not under threat.

Mr Turnbull said he would not proceed with the emissions target - part of his National Energy Guarantee (NEG) - because it had no prospect of passing through the House of Representatives, where he has only a slim majority.

This week Mr Turnbull was hit by former prime minister Tony Abbott for his backflip on plans to legislate the Paris emissions reduction target.

"I think there might be a second phase strategy here".

Mr Abbott said: 'It's no way to run a government, making absolute commitments on Tuesday and breaking them on Friday'.

"That is what people are telling me and that is what the government wants to do", he said.

With both leadership positions spilled, the foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop's position as deputy Liberal leader was also opened, but she was the only one to nominate and was therefore re-elected.

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