He said the cost of inaction, from higher insurance costs to more expensive energy, was being ignored by those who were simply opposed to dealing with climate change on ideological grounds.
“In climate change, there will never be enough figures to satisfy the climate sceptics. If you don’t believe in the science of climate change, no amount of evidence will ever convince you because, fundamentally, it’s a stupid position not to take action,” he said.
“The campaign against climate change by this government is malicious and stupid. It’s malicious because there are elements of this government – the right wing – who’ve undermined even people in the Liberal Party to take action on climate change.”
But in Tasmania, Mr Morrison said it was Mr Shorten who did not fully understand the economic impact of his policies.
Mr Morrison maintained the government’s emissions reduction programs were working, even though official figures recently showed emissions up by 0.9 per cent over the past year and by more than five per cent since the abolition of the carbon tax.
The Prime Minister said the cost to the economy under Labor’s plan was closer to $35 billion than $25 billion.
“[Mr Shorten] can’t even tell you how much money that companies are going to have to send offshore,” he said.
“I understand it’s around $35 billion that they will force companies to send offshore for those foreign carbon credits that could be invested here in Australia in employing more people, increasing wages.”
Senior Liberal senator Arthur Sinodinos admitted there was an economic cost under both the Coalition, which has agreed to a 26-28 per cent cut in emissions by 2030, and Labor which wants a 45 per cent reduction.
“That economic impact is smaller than the impact of the sort of policies that Labor is talking about and we think it’s an impact that the economy can absorb as part of the cost of meeting the challenge of climate change,” he told Sky News.
Shane is a senior economics correspondent for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.