PM’s road map for zero emissions by 2050
Coal mining and agriculture heartlands like the Hunter and Riverina will "reap the benefits" of the innovation needed for Australia to reach net zero emissions by 2050 says Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Edging closer to committing to the new emissions target, Mr Morrison used a speech to the Business Council of Australia on Monday night to map out a "path" to achieve net zero without taxation.
"I am not going to tax our industries off the planet," he said.
"We are going to meet our ambitions with the smartest minds, the best technology and the animal spirits of capitalism."
Earlier this year Mr Morrison inched the Coalition Government closer to committing to net zero by 2050, saying it was his "goal" to "preferably" reach the target in that timeframe.
But yesterday he went further, saying Australia needed to change its energy mix over the next 30 years "on the road to net zero emissions".
"The key to meeting our climate change ambitions is commercialisation of low emissions technology," he said.
Mr Morrison said emissions reduction would be achieved by the "pioneering entrepreneurialism and innovation" of Australia's industry, manufacturers, farmers and scientists.
"It will be won in places like the Pilbara, the Hunter, Gladstone, Portland, Whyalla, Bell Bay, and the Riverina," he said.
"In the factories of our regional towns and outer suburbs. In the labs of our best research institutes and scientists."
The speech came just days before Mr Morrison will join 40 world leaders to discuss climate change at US President Joe Biden's virtual summit.
Mr Biden is seeking new commitments from countries with the highest emissions to fulfil their 2015 Paris agreement targets by 2030.
But Mr Morrison said Australia was already well on its way to reaching its target of reducing emissions by 26 to 28 per cent in that time.
"Australia takes our emission reductions targets very seriously," he said.
"We don't make them lightly. We prepare our plan to achieve them, and we follow through.
"That is how we are addressing the challenge of the future net zero carbon economy."
Mr Morrison highlighted examples of industry-led emissions reduction projects including the work of Fortescue in Western Australia transitioning to cleaner energy, and AGL's early study for a pumped hydro energy storage facility in a former coal mine in the upper Hunter.
Originally published as PM's road map for zero emissions by 2050