Australians want action on climate change: Scott Morrison

By Our Reporter
Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Pic Supplied

Prime Minister Scott Morrison today said Australians want a 2050 plan on net zero emissions that does the right thing on climate change and secures their future in a changing world. “They also want a plan that is fair and practical.”

Stating that people in rural and regional areas know the impacts of climate change far better than those living in the cities, he said the burden of taking action on climate change should not fall unfairly on rural and regional Australians, especially those dependent on traditional industries such as mining and agriculture.

The Prime Minister said, “Only the Liberals and the Nationals working together can be trusted to get this balance right. We understand the threats faced but also the opportunities that can be realised.”

“There have been few issues more challenging for the Liberals and Nationals during the past twenty years than addressing climate change and its impact on rural and regional communities.

“Our decision to now agree to a plan to achieve the target of net zero emissions by 2050 has not been taken lightly.”

The decision has come with careful thinking through all the consequences and impacts, especially in rural and regional areas, he added.

“We have not and would never make a blank cheque commitment or impose new taxes, as Labor has, to achieve net zero. That would leave Australians footing the bill,” Morrison said.

As Prime Minister, Morrison said he was determined to shield the nation from the negative impact of these changes while positioning Australia to take advantage of the many opportunities presented, especially for rural and regional Australia.

He confirmed that Australia will continue to play its part at Glasgow. “We will be making a commitment to achieve net zero by 2050, and have a clear plan for achieving it. I always said I would not commit to net zero by 2050 unless we had a plan to achieve it. We now have that plan.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Energy Minister Angus Taylor deliver their plan for Net Zero by 2050 at Parliament House on Tuesday, October 26, 2021. Picture: Adam Taylor

“We will do this through technology, not taxes. By respecting people’s choices and not enforcing mandates on what people can do and buy. By keeping our industries and regions running and household power bills down by ensuring energy is affordable and reliable. By being transparent about what we are achieving, and expecting the same of other countries.”

The Prime Minister said he will invest in rural and regional Australia to ensure they succeed and are protected under the plan.

Emissions in Australia have actually fallen by more than 20 per cent on 2005 levels. That is more than New Zealand, Canada, Japan and the United States, said Morrison.

“We will also not be breaking the pledge we made at the last election by changing our 2030 emission reductions targets. I said we would meet and beat this target and we will. So at Glasgow I will update what we now believe we will achieve, demonstrating that performance is worth more than empty ambition. That’s the Australian way.

“The path to net zero is also not a straight line. In fact, as Bill Gates argues, forcing outcomes by 2030 with unrealistic targets can divert resources from technologies with longer lead times that will be essential to achieving 2050 objectives. So we will keep making sensible commitments and doing our best to exceed them.”

Key to this approach is investment in new energy technologies, like hydrogen and low cost Solar, to ensure our manufacturing, resources, agricultural and transport sectors can secure their future, especially in rural and regional areas.

These technologies are set out in our Technology Investment Roadmap.

The Prime Minister said the country will not support any mandate – domestic or international – to force closure of our resources or agricultural industries.

“We have taken the time to deal with the hard issues that need to be confronted to get it right. We have listened carefully and understand both the concerns and the strong aspirations that Australians have when it comes to dealing with climate change.

“At the end of the day it all comes down to whether you have a credible plan to get the job done. It’s no longer about the ‘if’, but the ‘how’, and Australians can always trust the Coalition to have the right economic plan to enable Australia to deal with the challenge of climate change.”

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