Two days after Japan committed to net zero emissions by 2050, the UK Prime Minister has called on Australia to take “bold action” and commit to “ambitious targets” on climate change.
The Morrison Government’s refusal to commit to net zero emissions by 2050 is leaving Australia increasingly isolated: the UK and 73 other countries have committed to the target.
Every state and territory in the country has committed to net zero emissions by 2050, and the goal is supported by the Australian Industry Group, the Business Council of Australia, the National Farmers Federation, Australia’s major energy companies, our biggest airline, our biggest mining company, our biggest bank, our biggest telecommunications provider, and countless experts and scientists.
Like investors, business leaders, and the CSIRO have previously done, the UK also emphasised the economic benefits of strong climate action noting that “the UK's experience demonstrates that driving economic growth and reducing emissions can go hand-in-hand."
The Morrison Government has attempt to spin this conversation in Australia’s official readout, saying Prime Minister Johnson “welcomed” and “strongly endorsed” its climate stance – but this is at odds with the version released by the British Prime Minister.
Against all the evidence, all the expert and scientific advice, and growing international pressure including in the context of UK trade negotiations, the Morrison Government remains committed to emissions reduction goals that will deliver over 3-degrees of warming and are recognised here and abroad as being far too weak and inconsistent Paris agreement goals.
Making matters worse, official government emissions projections show Australia failing to meet the government’s weak targets, and the government still insists on the use of Kyoto accounting tricks towards their weak targets.
Scott Morrison’s refusal to take climate change seriously poses a threat to the security and prosperity of all Australians, and to Australia’s international standing.