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Net zero 2050: Keith Pitt brought back to cabinet by Scott Morrison and Barnaby Joyce

Resources and water minister Keith Pitt will return to the cabinet after the Nationals backed net zero emissions by 2050.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday announced the Nationals MP would be elevated back into the cabinet, just months after he was demoted.

'Minister Pitt is a powerful voice for the resources sector and ensuring that we build upon Australia's strength in traditional exports, while harnessing opportunities in the new energy economy and critical minerals,' Mr Morrison said in a statement.

Resources and water minister Keith Pitt (left talking to Barnaby Joyce) will return to the cabinet after the Nationals backed net zero emissions by 2050

'Minister Pitt has been a strong advocate for regional and rural communities, both in his portfolio responsibilities and as a local MP.' 

The National Party has declared it will support a 2050 net zero carbon emissions target, a historic move that brings Australia into line with most of the developed world just a week before crunch climate talks in Glasgow. 

After a week of internal meetings and debate, leader Barnaby Joyce revealed the junior Coalition party now backs the target and declared: 'I am 100 per cent on board with the goal of net zero by 2050.'

While it has not yet been publicly announced what the Nationals agreed to in order to support a net-zero plan, it was expected the party would push for an additional seat in cabinet.

Labor MP Anika Wells told the ABC: 'The news that Keith Pitt is off to cabinet out of this demonstrates once and for all that these actors are only in it for themselves, not for their actual constituents, and not with our economic prosperity and climate future in mind.'    

Mr Pitt was demoted from cabinet in June after Barnaby Joyce replaced Michael McCormack as Nationals leader.

After a week of internal meetings and debate, Barnaby Joyce (centre with David Littleproud and Bridget McKenzie) revealed his party now backs a net zero target

Cabinet is expected to meet to discuss the net-zero plans later on Monday.

The move harmonises Labor and Coalition climate change policy, ending a decade of the so-called 'climate wars' in politics. 

It also marks a major shift for the Deputy Prime Minister who has until now opposed climate change action by either questioning the existence of global warming or insisting that Australia can make no difference. 

On Sunday Mr Joyce said he expected there to be a 'firm commitment' to regional Australia in a submission which would go to cabinet this week, before Mr Morrison heads overseas on Thursday.

'The position regional people are in now is better than the terms and the process that was initially delivered to us,' he said after a partyroom meeting in Canberra which lasted just over two hours. 

If temperatures continue to rise, there could be devastating effects here on Earth, including a dramatic loss of sea-life, an ice-free Arctic and more regular 'extreme' weather

'We are in support of a process going forward that would go towards a 2050 emissions target.

'Obviously that depends upon what we see in the cabinet submission reflecting the conversations and agreements between myself and the prime minister.'

Apart from a 'socio-economic safety valve' which would include regular reviews of the impacts of the emissions target on jobs and industries in rural and regional areas, a key factor in getting the Nationals over the line was the prospect of an election loss without a net zero target.

'Standing up for them (regional Australians) is making sure that you are in the (cabinet) room where the decisions are being made,' the deputy prime minister said.

'Heroics that have no outcome, heroics that leave nothing but a rhetorical flourish - but leave the person who is hurting in the same position as what they were - is not an outcome the Nationals party room supported.'

He declined to say whether the prime minister had agreed during the negotiations to give the Nationals an extra cabinet position.