Technology is the Way to Achieve the Climate Target

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Tuesday that a zero carbon emission target by 2050 would be “very positive” for the country if it could be achieved through technology rather than by implementing a carbon tax. He is speaking in Parliament in a bid to urge his counterparts in government to commit to more ambitious action ahead of next month’s climate summit in Scotland.

Morrison last week agreed to attend the conference, but his government counterparts have yet to agree on the commitments he wants to make. Morrison was a minister in a conservative coalition government that in 2014 repealed a carbon tax policy introduced by the centre-left Labor government.

The coalition government continues to oppose any action that would punish polluters through carbon prices or taxes. Its rural-based junior coalition partner, Nationals, is the main obstacle for the current Australian government to adopt the net zero climate target.

National lawmakers have debated the Cabinet’s draft climate policy for the past three days but have yet to come to an agreement. On Tuesday, they also witnessed government-designed modeling that predicts the economic impact of more ambitious climate targets.

Lawmaker Matt Canavan is among those who do not believe in the modeling. He alleged that the modeling was deliberately created by parties who wanted to end the use of fossil fuels.

Australia has not moved on from its pledge at the 2015 Paris climate conference to reduce emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2030, although many countries are adopting much more ambitious targets.

Morrison is unlikely to succeed in persuading his colleagues to agree to the new 2030 targets before going to Glasgow.

Meanwhile, some protesters staged their march outside the parliament building demanding greater Australian action on climate change. [ab/ka]

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