Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Australia will achieve net zero emissions by 2050 but won’t commit to making that an explicit target.
But he says reaching the goal requires more use of gas and funding nascent technologies such as hydrogen and carbon capture and storage.
The government is expected to release its technology road map on how the country can reduce its emissions this week.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Australia can achieve net zero emissions by 2050 without having the target set in stone.Credit:Adam McLean
That comes on the heels of Mr Morrison outlining plans to open up more gas supplies and build a gas-fired power station if the market doesn’t adequately fill the gap left by the closure of the Liddell coal plant. He has also pledged to put $1.9 billion into the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation while allowing them to back carbon capture and storage projects, investments they are banned from making.
The Prime Minister says his government is focused on technologies that use lower emissions, but wouldn’t formally commit to a 2050 target.
“I'm more interested in the doing,” he told the ABC’s Insiders program on Sunday morning.
“I know people get very focused on the politics of these commitments, but what I'm focused on is on the technology that delivers lower emissions, lower costs and more jobs.
“I think that [net zero] is very achievable, but it involves making the investments we have set out for ARENA and the CEFC this week.”
He’s previously committed to achieving net zero emissions by sometime in the second half of the century.
Business leaders and the National Farmers Federation are among those who have called for a legislated 2050 target, while every state government has signed up for the aim.
Labor has said it will go to the next election with an interim target for reducing emissions to work towards a broader ambition of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
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Katina Curtis is a political reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, based at Parliament House in Canberra.