Scott Morrison unveils Australia’s plan to reach net zero emissions by 2050

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison has unveiled Australia’s much-anticipated plan to reach net zero emissions by 2050 ahead of the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow.

He said the government “recognises the (climate) challenges” the world is facing and the plan “most importantly” backs Australians and the Australian way of life.

Mr Morrison explained the plan will focus on “technologies not taxes” and will include both Australians in cities and the regions.

Prime Minister unveils 2050 net zero climate plan
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has unveiled Australia’s net zero by 2050 plan. (Nine)

Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Angus Taylor claimed Australia’s track record on climate is “a proud one”.

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Mr Taylor ran through a “portfolio of technologies” that can help reduce Australia’s emissions.

Incentives, not penalties, will be used to help further lower emissions, he said.

Carbon offsets would also be “an important part” of the plan.

The goals of the plan include reducing the costs of hydrogen, “ultra-low-cost” solar and long-duration energy storage, in part funded by a $20 billion investment by the Federal Government.

When asked where the plan’s carbon emissions modelling is, Mr Morrison said the data would be released over the coming days.

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“Today is about the plan,” he said.

Mr Taylor did point to some of the strategies Australia will use to hit net zero.

These include 90 million hectares of productive agricultural land to be better used as a carbon sink, carbon capture and storage, production of hydrogen, high-integrity credits and offsets, and low-emissions vehicles.

Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Angus Taylor
Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Angus Taylor said a range of low-emissions technologies would form the basis of the plan. (Alex Ellinghausen)

Australia on track to beat 2030 target

Mr Morrison said the Australian Government was on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to “up to 35 per cent” below 2005 levels by 2030.

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The target was initially 26–28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

“We said there’s the mark, but we can meet it and beat it,” he said.

“The world will be able to see us achieving that.”

The prime minister said he will be taking Australia’s plan to reach net zero by 2050 to COP26 – the upcoming climate summit in Glasgow.

“Our plan gets the balance right,” Mr Morrison said.

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Mr Morrison said Australia’s commitment to reducing emissions was “credible”.

“The actions of Australia speak louder than the words of others,” he said.

“There will be lots of words in Glasgow but I will be able to point to the actions of Australia and the achievements of Australia.”

PM says plan ‘100 per cent’ supported by Coalition

Mr Morrison said the plan he has presented today was “100 per cent supported” by both Liberals and Nationals.

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“It’s a Coalition government and the plan has the full support of our Coalition partners,” he said.

Mr Morrison said the Nationals had walked a “difficult path” to reach this point, but that the two parties are “united”.

Mr Morrison said the plan “will not shut down our coal or gas exports”.

“It is focused on Australia’s national interests and securing our strengths,” he said.

The prime minister also assured Australians the net zero plan will not negatively impact farming and agriculture.

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He called it a “careful evolution” and not a revolution.

“It will not be a set and forget plan,” he said.



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