Government releases plan for net zero by 2050

emissions reduction plan

The much anticipated ‘Long-Term Emissions Reduction Plan’ is intended to deliver a credible pathway to net zero emissions by 2050, while purportedly preserving Australian industry. 

This means the amount of carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere must at least equal the amount Australia emits. 

“Our plan takes a technology-driven approach that is based on current successful policies – not higher taxes,” the report reads. 

The plan is based on five key principles, one of which advocates for “technology not taxes”, meaning the investment in new technologies to make them cheaper and deployable on a large scale.  

The plan specifies that these changes will not be made at the expense of “traditional” exports, like coal and agriculture. 

“It will not shut down coal or gas production, or require displacement of productive agricultural land,” the report continues.   

The technologies prioritised through the strategy include clean hydrogen, low-cost solar, energy storage, low emissions steel and aluminium, carbon capture and storage, and soil carbon measurement. 

The ‘Technology Investment Roadmap’ is expected to guide at least $20 billion in government investment into low emissions technologies over the next decade. 

Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Angus Taylor stated in the foreword that Australia is on track to reach emissions targets, without imposing new costs on households, businesses or regions. 

“The Morrison Government’s Long-Term Emissions Reduction Plan sets out the responsible, practical steps we will take over the next 30 years to reduce Australia’s emissions to net zero by 2050, while growing our economy and jobs,” Minister Taylor said. 

The voice of Australia’s oil and gas industry, APPEA, released a statement saying the industry was already taking action and making investments to reduce emissions in Australia. 

“Not only does natural gas reduce emissions by replacing coal in power generation, it is also necessary to support more renewables in our electricity system,” said APPEA chief executive Andrew McConville. 

“Multi-billion dollar technology is already up and running across the country helping to reduce emissions, including carbon capture and storage, offshore batteries on platforms and installation of renewables to help power our sites.”

McConville said the government’s targets were consistent with the APPEA’s ‘Climate Change Principles’ released earlier this year. 

“We too want a future with cleaner energy, and we are already helping Australia get that cleaner energy as quickly as possible,” said McConville. 

“With an agreement to achieve net zero by 2050 in place, the Prime Minister can head to Glasgow for COP26 with a plan to reach that target.” 

From 31 October to 12 November, world leaders will convene at the COP26 conference to negotiate goals for higher and faster emissions reduction targets with perhaps more scrutiny than ever before. 

Read the government’s ‘Long-Term Emissions Reduction Plan’ here.

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