‘You have no idea’: MP's stunning answer on climate change
CROSSBENCH politicians are calling on the federal parliament to officially declare a "climate emergency" today.
Greens MP Adam Bandt will move a motion to that effect, and it will be seconded by independent Zali Steggall.
Ms Steggall's fellow independents Helen Haines and Andrew Wilkie also support the motion, along with Centre Alliance MP Rebekha Sharkie.
They have at least one ally from the Liberal side of politics as well. Former opposition leader John Hewson is in Canberra today to help them push for the declaration.
Ms Steggall went on Sky News this morning to make her case.
"This isn't about me expressing an opinion. This is about listening to the experts," she said.
"It's only a first step, of course. What we really need is a plan to decarbonise."
Ms Steggall has previously been accused of hypocrisy because she does not drive an electric vehicle. Her critics say that's an example of her not practising what she preaches.
Asked about that, she said she could not yet afford to buy one.
"I, like every other Australian, have budget pressures, mortgage pressures," Ms Steggall said.
"I would really welcome the government taking some steps to make EVs more affordable so I could accelerate the process in which I could transfer my car.
"I am committed to, when it comes time to changing my vehicle, that I will change it to an EV."
You can expect the government to oppose the climate emergency declaration, meaning it will not pass.
Labor, for what it's worth, is hedging its bets, saying it will "consider any motions brought forward" through its usual processes.
The timing of this is interesting. It comes after government frontbencher David Littleproud's stunning admission yesterday that he doesn't know whether climate change is man made.
The Minister for Water Resources, whose job includes responsibility for handling natural disasters - bushfires, for example - first revealed that titbit to The Guardian before doubling down in an interview with Sky News political editor David Speers.
"I don't know if climate change is man made," Mr Littleproud told The Guardian.
"I'm about practical outcomes, whether that's about having a cleaner environment or giving farmers and emergency services the right tools to adapt."
A short while after those comments were reported, he was interviewed by Speers.
"You say the climate is changing, and that is certainly true. The question is, is this man made climate change?" Speers asked.
"I have no idea, but does it really matter?" Mr Littleproud said.
"Sorry, you have no idea whether?" Speers pressed.
"I am not a scientist. I haven't made an opinion one way or the other, but I don't think it really matters," the minister said.
"Sorry, I just want to be really clear on this. You are not sure whether man made climate change is real?" Speers continued.
"I am going to be honest with you, I don't have an opinion, but I don't think it really matters. I think these extremes from both sides have taken away the maturity of debate we should have about keeping, simply, a clean environment and making sure we give our people the tools to be able to go out and protect themselves in a changing climate," Mr Littleproud said.