Premier Peter Gutwein has accused the Greens of "frightening" children after the party attempted to move a motion declaring a climate emergency based on the findings of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.
The motion noted aspects of the IPCC report, that "immediate and ambitious action" must be taken to limit temperature rises and that the "overwhelming majority" of Tasmanians want politicians to acknowledge the "severity and urgency" of the issue.
It was the second time the Greens have attempted to have the Parliament declare a climate emergency, but it was defeated again - although this time Labor voted in favour.
In question time, Mr Gutwein said the motion used alarming language.
"One of the things that really concerns me, ... is some of the extreme language that is used, that is actually frightening some of our children," he said.
"We should be proud of our emissions profile, we should be proud of where we stand in terms of renewable energy."
The Premier listed various aspects of Tasmania's climate change position: that the state has 100 per cent renewable energy and has achieved "net zero" emissions in six of the past seven years.
He also cited his meetings with the Premier's youth advisory council and engagement with young Tasmanians regarding climate change, and said "what is not often understood by our young people is how very good we are at the moment ... in terms of our emissions profile".
In 2013, Tasmania became the first Australian jurisdiction to achieve net zero - which coincided with the downfall of Gunns and the establishment of the Tasmanian Forests Agreement. Emissions from forestry and land use dropped dramatically around this time.
Mr Gutwein is the Climate Change Minister but did not participate in the climate emergency debate on Wednesday afternoon, with backbencher Madeleine Ogilvie speaking instead, largely reiterating Mr Gutwein's earlier comments.
Greens leader Cassy O'Connor said the party had taken its wording from the IPCC report.
"What scares young people most in relation to climate change is a lack of action and a failure of leadership," she said.
"Young people need to be told the truth in a clear and calm way, and they need to be pointed to the actions that can be taken to limit the increase in warming.
"Yes it is confronting to deal with the science, but running away from it helps no one. And I actually feel where the fear is felt in this place is on the government benches."
Ms O'Connor listed an increase in winter rain and dry summer on the West Coast and the drying Central Highlands with loss of Miena cider gums as climate impacts occurring in Tasmania.
Labor previously voted against a similar motion, but this time they voted in favour.
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Labor leader Rebecca White said the motion "isn't controversial".
"It is clear to us from reading through not just what's in this motion, but what's available on the public report about what the IPCC report predicts, is that we need to take action," she said.
"Declaring a climate emergency is a clear signal that we can do more. Tasmania does have a very proud reputation for what we have already achieved."
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