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Australia set to face mounting pressure on climate change inaction

  • April 22 2021
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Australia set to face mounting pressure on climate change inaction

By Cameron Micallef
April 22 2021

The Biden administration has warned that it won’t shy away from challenging countries whose inaction on climate change is setting the world back, as Australia is tipped to face mounting pressure due to unambitious net-zero emissions targets.

pressure on climate change inaction

Australia set to face mounting pressure on climate change inaction

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  • April 22 2021
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The Biden administration has warned that it won’t shy away from challenging countries whose inaction on climate change is setting the world back, as Australia is tipped to face mounting pressure due to unambitious net-zero emissions targets.

pressure on climate change inaction

The two-day virtual summit on Earth Day will see Prime Minister Scott Morrison dial in early tomorrow morning, with major world powers committing to take stronger action on climate change.

US President Joe Biden is reportedly set to announce a more ambitious target to cut his country’s emissions at least in half by 2030, after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged a 78 per cent cut by 2034.

“The UK will be home to pioneering businesses, new technologies and green innovation as we make progress to net zero emissions, laying the foundations for decades of economic growth in a way that creates thousands of jobs,” Mr Johnson said in a statement.

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Australia’s current target is 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. However, Mr Morrison has refused to set a time frame on Australia’s “road to net-zero”, simply implying it will not happen in the inner-city wine bars.

In a speech the PM gave at the Business Council of Australia, Mr Morrison put the onus on businesses, although current policy settings suggest Australia will not reach its climate change goals.

Not willing to admit this possible failure, Mr Morrison said Australia would reach net-zero as “quickly as possible, and preferably by 2050”.

“I’m increasing in confidence with the plan that we’re developing to achieve that.”

“We are not going to meet our climate change targets through punishing taxes. I am not going to tax our industries off the planet. We are going to meet our ambitions with the smartest minds, the best technology and the animal spirits of our business community,” Mr Morrison said. 

Prior to the commencement of the summit, Australia has pledged to spend an extra $540 million on clean energy projects, as Australia prepares for the climate summit.

The PM announced $275.5 million will be committed to accelerate the development of four additional clean hydrogen hubs in regional Australia and implement a clean hydrogen certification scheme, and a further $263.7 million to support the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) and carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) projects and hubs.

“It is essential we position Australia to succeed by investing now in the technologies that will support our industries into the future, with lower emissions energy that can support Australian jobs,” the Prime Minister said.

“There is a strong appetite from business for the new emissions reduction technologies that they know will be needed to run their operations and keep employing Australians and grow jobs for the future.

“World-leading projects like these are about cutting emissions and creating jobs.”

However, Richie Merzian, climate and energy director at The Australia Institute think tank, hit out against Australia’s climate change plan, highlighting that Australia will likely be forced to do some heavy lifting under the Biden administration.

“This is a federal government that will do the absolute minimum required to just keep its seat at the table, but do nothing beyond that,” Mr Merzian said.

Australia set to face mounting pressure on climate change inaction
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

author image
Cameron Micallef

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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