Rural liberals support move towards zero emissions goal clear despite warnings from some within federal nationals that regional Australia "will pay the cost " of decarbonizing the economy.
Shifting support for the target - including from conservatives who have already opposed policies to cut emissions - comes as a newwater report reiterates that Australia ranks among the worst performers in the G20 in the face of the climate crisis.
Ahead of a pivotal Nationals Village Hall meeting on Sunday, where MPs will review the Morrison government's emissions reduction plan, Liberal MPs are calling for more ambitious goals.
Rowan Ramsey, the Liberal MP for Gray's seat in South Australia, said he was comfortable with "how the conversation ”around the government's climate policy and that he believed there was a benefit to electorates like his.
Gray covers a vast region of regional South Australia and includes agricultural towns as well as the heavy industrial towns of Port Pirie and Whyalla. The Leigh Creek Coal Mine in Headquarters closed in 2015. Whyalla is devbecame a target of the Labor Coalition Against Climate Policy fight when Tony Abbott suggested in 2011 that the city would be "wiped off the map by a carbon price.
Ramsey said he remained" skeptical "about long-term goals and the mechanism for counting carbon reductions, but believed there were opportunities for the industrial sector.
"We can't have our heads in the sand on this, we have to face what the world is doing and what our responsibilities are. So I think we should have a smart debate, which can be a bit difficult at times, "Ramsey told Guardian Australia.
" There are a lot of 'benefits for us to participate in the changes for the industrial wing, "he said, pointing out a potentiel hydrogen hub on the Eyre Peninsula and a suggestion from Whyalla steel mill owner Sanjeev Gupta to turn it into a green steel operation.
" The government's fundamental premise that this will be a technology-driven transition is relatively correct. "
Ramsey said it was " much more important "for the government to update its short- and medium-term goals against the 2050 commitment.
He also said he didn't think regions "would cope " after the policy change after Senate Nationals leader Bridget McKenzie said this weekso the regions "would pay the price ".
"This is why we need it to be technology driven, and if we can implement these changes with minimal impact, so the region will not be destroyed.
Melissa Price, MP for Durack headquarters, who covers most of regional Western Australia, including the mining province of Pilbara, spoke also supported the net zero crossing.
"As a regional liberal MP, I must ensure that the interests of my constituents - including farmers, miners and fishermen - are protected, ”she said. "For me, their interests are always at the forefront ... which is why I support technology rather than taxes in helping us achieve a goal of net zero emissions by 2050.
Environment Minister Sussan Ley also publicly announcedt backed the net zero crossing as quickly as possible, telling ABC Radio this week that she believes there are huge benefits to regional Australia.
Other rural liberals such as Trade Minister Dan Tehan and WA MP Rick Wilson have also supported the aspiration for net zero by 2050, to provided that the agricultural sector is protected.
Ahead of Sunday's Nationals meeting, Mallee seat MP Anne Webster said she was "very interested "in the role of hydrogen, and wanted to make sure there were jobs in her electorate as a result of any policy change.
" My problem is that our regions should benefit, not suffer from the goals we set and the deadlines that go with those goals, "said Webster.
“It is imperative that we ensure that our agricultural sectors andour communities benefit and thrive, gro w, develop more jobs, develop more opportunities, and I'm sure it's possible, that's just the how, and so I'm waiting to see. "
Webster said she wanted her national colleague Darren Chester, who represents Gippsland headquarters but is taking a break from the party, to attend the meeting . "He brings a lot of wisdom to the table and I certainly encourage him to attend.
The national deputy for Lyne headquarters in Nova Scotia South Wales, David Gillespie, said he was confident that Coalition "would fix the problem " after Nationals saw the details of the government's proposal for a net zero.
"Me, like many others in the party, wait to seewhat has been proposed. Because right now it's just a catchphrase, "Gillespie told the ABC.
The positioning before the meeting from this weekend came as a report by Climate Transparency, a collection of climate analysts, found that Australia ranked near the bottom of the G20 in almost every area to solve the problem.
The report says the country continues to subsidize new fossil fuels and has no significant national policies to reduce emissions. As support for renewables increased, it said this was due to action by state governments, not the Commonwealth.
Bill Hare, chief executive of Climate Analytics, said on result should come as no surprise to anyone who follows climate action in Australia. "We have not seen a single policy put in place by the government.federal government that will cut emissions in any sector, "he said.
The report found that Australia had spent US $ 7.66 billion on fossil fuel subsidies last year, mostly on oil, and pledged to provide discounted loans to gas projects and support new fossil fuel infrastructure , carbon capture and storage, and diesel fuel storage.
A separate report from the independent Climate Targets Panel, featuring former Liberal Leader John Hewson and three leading climatologists, said their analysis suggested Australia would need to cut emissions by 74% by 2030 and reach net zero by 2035 if it were to act as needed to limit global warming to 1.5 ° C above pre-industrial levels.
He said thatAustralia's role in limiting global warming to 2C would require a target of 50% by 2030 and net zero by 2045. “There is only a fixed amount of shows we can put in the atmosphere before it's too late, "Hewson said.