OPINION | Scott Morrison, Prime Minister, Minister for the Public Service
At Glasgow, I will confirm that Australia will continue to play our part. We will set a target to achieve net-zero by 2050 and have a clear plan for achieving it. I always said I would not set a target to achieve net-zero by 2050 unless we had a plan to achieve it. We now have that plan.
We will do this the Australian way. Through technology, not taxes. By respecting people's choices and not enforcing mandates on what people can do and buy. By keeping our industries and regions running and household power bills down by ensuring energy is affordable and reliable. By being transparent about what we are achieving, and expecting the same from other countries.
And we will invest in rural and regional Australia to ensure they succeed and are protected under our plan.
I will remind the world that emissions in Australia have actually fallen by more than 20 per cent on 2005 levels. That is more than New Zealand, Canada, Japan and the United States. We have beaten our 2020 emissions reduction target and are well on our way to meeting and beating our 2030 target.
We won’t be lectured by others who do not understand Australia. The Australian Way is all about how you do it, and not if you do it. It’s about getting it done.
We will also not be breaking the pledge we made at the last election by changing our 2030 emission reductions targets. I said we would meet and beat this target and we will. So at Glasgow, I will update what we now believe we will achieve, demonstrating that performance is worth more than empty ambition. That’s the Australian way.
The path to net-zero is also not a straight line. In fact, as Bill Gates argues, forcing outcomes by 2030 with unrealistic targets can divert resources from technologies with longer lead times that will be essential to achieving 2050 objectives. So we will keep making sensible commitments and doing our best to exceed them.
Key to this approach is an investment in new energy technologies, like hydrogen and low-cost solar, to ensure our manufacturing, resources, agricultural and transport sectors can secure their future, especially in rural and regional areas.
These technologies are set out in our Technology Investment Roadmap.
We want our heavy industries, like mining, to stay open, remain competitive and adapt, so they remain viable for as long as global demand allows.
We will not support any mandate - domestic or international - to force the closure of our resources or agricultural industries.
We have taken the time to deal with the hard issues that need to be confronted to get it right. We have listened carefully and understand both the concerns and the strong aspirations that Australians have when it comes to dealing with climate change.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to whether you have a credible plan to get the job done. It’s no longer about the ‘if’, but the ‘how’, and Australians can always trust the Coalition to have the right economic plan to enable Australia to deal with the challenge of climate change.
Published in The Daily Telegraph
To read more about Australia's Long-Term Emissions Reduction Plan, click here.