Nationals meet to discuss carbon targets

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud is calling for calm as the Nationals meet to discuss the party’s approach to climate change targets.

Federal MPs and senators will hold partyroom talks on Monday ahead of a full coalition meeting on Tuesday.

Several Nationals including Barnaby Joyce and Matt Canavan have vowed to fight against the prime minister embracing net zero emissions by 2050.

They fear the target would be catastrophic unless agriculture is carved out of any plans to achieve it.

Unlike some of his colleagues, Mr Littleproud is open to adopting the target but wants to see concrete plans before signing up to the international pledge.

He has called for a mature conversation and told “zealots” to take a deep breath.

“What I want is to be able to look the Australian people in the eye with honesty, not a platitudes, and say whether we can achieve it or not,” Mr Littleproud told ABC radio.

“And not at any cost, particularly for regional and rural Australia.”

More than 130 countries have committed to reaching net zero emissions by 2050 but the minister says only 16 nations have outlined plans to achieve the goal.

“We believe we can be part of the solution but we’re not going to rush into it until we see how we get there and who pays for it,” Mr Littleproud said.