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Morrison backs technology but fails to deliver climate target

  • April 26 2021
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Morrison backs technology but fails to deliver climate target

By Cameron Micallef
April 26 2021

Despite world leaders committing to strong policy actions on climate change, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia could reach net-zero emissions before 2050 without creating meaningful policy changes, but by upping its technological capabilities.

Morrison backs technology but fails to deliver climate target

Morrison backs technology but fails to deliver climate target

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  • April 26 2021
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Despite world leaders committing to strong policy actions on climate change, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia could reach net-zero emissions before 2050 without creating meaningful policy changes, but by upping its technological capabilities.

Morrison backs technology but fails to deliver climate target

During a climate summit meeting late last week, Mr Morrison promised Australia would make bankable reductions to its carbon emissions, without a concrete 2050 net-zero emissions target.

The Prime Minister said Australia will continue its plan to reach its previous reduction targets of lowering greenhouse gas production by 26-28 per cent of 2005 levels by 2030.

This is despite world leaders from the US, UK, Canada and Japan all announcing strong carbon reduction policies.

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US President Joe Biden announced he would set 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.

“Australia has a strong track record of setting, achieving and exceeding our commitments to responsibly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and playing our part to keep the 1.5 degrees within reach,” the PM said.

“For Australia, it is not a question of if, or even by when, for net zero, but importantly how. That is why we are investing in priority new technology solutions, through our Technology Investment Roadmap initiative.”

He told world leaders that Australia is investing around $20 billion to achieve what he described as “ambitious goals” that will bring the cost of clean hydrogen, green steel, energy storage and carbon capture to commercial parity, expecting this to leverage more than $80 billion in investments in the next decade.

Reiterating comments made during a Business Council of Australia speech, Mr Morrison once again put the onus on businesses to solve Australia’s climate dilemma, praising some of the country’s heaviest polluters.

“Here in Australia, we are creating our own ‘hydrogen valleys’ where we will transform our transport industries, our mining and resource sectors, our manufacturing, our fuel and energy production,” Mr Morrison said.

“In Australia, our journey to net zero is being led by world-class pioneering Australian companies like Fortescue, led by Dr Andrew Forrest; Visy; BHP; Rio Tinto; AGL, and so many more of all sizes.”

While the PM is peddling the “technology, not taxes” slogan, world leaders remain unimpressed with Australia refusing to cut emissions faster even after the Biden administration pushed Mr Morrison to do better. 

Australia was not alone in its failure to commit to a new climate policy, with large emitters including China and India failing to set new targets despite similar prods by President Biden’s team.

As part of the government’s spending to try and appease world leaders, Mr Morrison announced an additional $100 million investment package that will target ‘blue carbon’ ecosystems that involve seagrass and mangroves playing a key role in drawing carbon out of the atmosphere.

The package will also support Australian Marine Parks, expand the Indigenous Protected Areas into Sea Country and protect marine life.

The Prime Minister said this investment will boost the seagrass and mangroves that will help cut emissions and it’ll mean cleaner beaches, lower fisheries bycatch, more fish stocks, better protection for turtles and seabirds, and help for coastal and Indigenous communities reliant on the ocean for their livelihoods.

“Our oceans are part of the lifeblood of our economy, and this investment will secure those jobs and the important role our oceans can play in our efforts to cut emissions,” Mr Morrison said during the announcement.

“The climate and the planet’s oceans are inextricably linked. This investment is a major contribution to domestic and international efforts to build healthier oceans and combat climate change.

This follows an announcement prior to the commencement of the Climate Summit, when Australia pledged to spend an extra $540 million on clean energy projects.

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.

Morrison backs technology but fails to deliver climate target
Morrison backs technology but fails to deliver climate target
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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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