Sunrise host Natalie Barr has shut down a claim made by Barnaby Joyce that global warming has been "fixed" which he made from a very wet regional NSW town on Monday morning.
The former deputy prime minister appeared on the morning show from Danglemah where he stood with an umbrella and claimed the downpour meant Australia has "solved global warming".
His comments came after show host Barr quizzed the Nationals MP about soft plastics following revelations the recycling program carried out by Coles and Woolworths had failed. Customers learned the soft plastics they were dropping off at supermarkets had not been recycled for months, highlighting a major problem.
"We've solved global warming, we’ve solved the drought, we’ve obviously fixed that problem," Mr Joyce said, looking around at the rain. But his comments prompted a quick-witted response from the Sunrise host. "Not really, because global warming actually creates rain, but we will talk about that next week," she said before abruptly ending the conversation.
Mr Joyce has a history of being reluctant to accept climate change science and as Nationals leader was hesitant to commit his party to emissions reduction targets.
During a National Press Club event held at parliament house last year, Mr Joyce was asked if he believed the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which found "human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land". He said he was "not going to stand here and sort of be berated into complying" with such a statement, the Guardian reported, insisting "that's bullying".
Mr Joyce also made known his reluctance to sign up to a target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 without first seeing how much it would cost. In an interview on ABC's Insiders last year he oddly compared committing to emissions reduction to ordering a meal in a restaurant.
Joyce slams cost of recycling
Ms Barr had also asked the Nationals MP why Australia had only been recycling 16 per cent of plastics over the past four years.
"One of the things about it is it costs money to recycle," Mr Joyce said. "Like all manufacturing, making shopping trolleys and all the things that Tanya [Plibersek] mentioned requires energy and power. If we keep devoiding our nation of coal-fired power stations, and not wanting to talk about nuclear, then you're not going to have manufacturing, and it means you are not going to have recycling. You've got to be a realist, you've got to get cheaper energy."
His comments came after Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek, who appeared on the show alongside Mr Joyce, said it was "disappointing" for Aussies to see the soft plastics systems suddenly "thrown out of whack".
Ms Plibersek said we need to "rebuild and build new recycling facilities". "We got to make sure we have the factories there that can take these products and remanufacture them and recycle them," she said, calling them "valuable commodities". She pointed out that recycled plastics "can be made into new stuff" such as supermarket trolleys. "We need to make sure we have the recycling facilities that allow that to happen," she added.
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