Australia gives in-principle support for net zero by 2050

Australia’s Cabinet will consider conditions the government’s junior coalition partner has placed on committing the nation to a target of zero net carbon emissions by 2050

Via AP news wire
Monday 25 October 2021 01:37
Australia Climate Change
Australia Climate Change

Australia’s Cabinet on Monday will consider conditions the government’s junior coalition partner has placed on committing the national to a target of zero net carbon emissions by 2050.

The Nationals party’s in-principle support for the target, agreed at a meeting on Sunday, is a breakthrough for Prime Minister Scott Morrison who wants to take a more ambitious plan to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions when he leaves on Thursday for a U.N. summit in Glasgow Scotland.

Nationals lawmakers were tight-lipped on the conditions the party had placed on their support.

Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce who is also deputy prime minister, declined to say whether the party had demanded that Resources Minister Keith Pitt be made the fifth Nationals’ Cabinet minister.

Joyce also declined to confirm or deny that he had told his colleagues he opposed net zero.

“We never would have had to go into the negotiation process if the Nationals were 100% happy with where the proposition was,” Joyce told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.

Nationals deputy leader David Littleproud said further details of the agreement would be made public by early Tuesday.

“We worked through this calmly and rationally as a party,” Littleproud said, adding that the Nationals' amendments to the Cabinet proposal would protect jobs in rural Australia.

Reducing emissions is a politically fraught issue in Australia, which is one of the world’s largest exporters of coal and liquified natural gas. The nation is also one of the world’s worst greenhouse gas emitters per capita because of its heavy reliance on coal-fired power.

The rural-based Nationals have traditionally represented farmers’ interests, but are increasingly now seen as advocates for fossil fuel industries.

Nationals Sen. Matt Canavan, who represents coal-rich Queensland state, said the deal was bad for the country.

“Net zero is going to end in tears,” Canavan told the Nine Network television.

“I don’t think this is the right approach for this country. It’s a fantasy to think we can remove all carbon emissions,” Canavan added.

Australia has not budged from its 2015 pledge at a Paris climate summit to reduce emissions by 26% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2030, despite many countries adopting far more ambitious targets.

The Glasgow summit, known as COP26, will assess progress since nations agreed in the Paris accord to limit warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). The meeting in Glasgow is widely seen as the last chance to hold global warming to 1.5 C (2.7 F) above pre-industrial levels.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in