Environment

What’s The Go With ScoMo’s Vague Net Zero Plan?

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison has finally announced the Federal Government’s plan for Australia to hit net zero emissions by 2050.

But the plan he’s proposed is vague and has been copping a lot of flak.

Scott Morrison: “Our plan is a fair plan, it’s a practical plan, it’s a responsible plan.”

“Our plan for net zero by 2050, is the plan I believe Australians want.”

It’s been announced just in time for the COP26 climate summit, and experts are saying that the plan lacks direction and won’t be welcomed on the global stage.

So What Exactly Is The Net Zero Plan?

The PM announced the new climate change plan alongside Energy Minister Angus Taylor.

And pledged to cut 26 to 28 percent of 2005 carbon emissions levels by the year 2030, despite claiming we’re already on track to beat that target.

ScoMo said that Australia will be able to achieve a 35 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030.

And will have more than $20 billion invested in “low emissions technologies” by the same year.

That includes future technologies like carbon capture and storage, but these are a long way off from being effectively implemented.

Morrison also stressed that the target won’t negatively impact mining and agricultural industries, with 62,000 new mining jobs promised as part of the plan.

Information on how we will achieve this carbon reduction, or how these jobs will be created, is yet to be released though.

In fact, much of Morrison’s announcement didn’t actually offer any specifics on how Australia will meet these goals, and the government hasn’t released any of the modelling used to create the plan.

What we can be sure of however is it that Morrison thinks it “will not impact households, businesses or the broader economy with new costs or taxes imposed by the initiatives that we are undertaking”.

To gain the Nationals’ support, there will also be a review of the plan every five years to ensure a minimal impact on regional and rural communities.

Why This Plan Isn’t Cutting It

The plan outlines that the combination of the government’s chosen technologies could reduce emissions by 85 per cent.

And the remaining 15 per cent is expected to be achieved through future technologies, some of which haven’t even been created yet.

Which kind of makes the plan a destination without a map to actually navigate us there.

The 2050 net zero target also won’t be enshrined by law, and that means there won’t be any consequences for the government if it isn’t achieved.

The Response

The response to ScoMo’s big plan, has been huge but not in a good way.

Some politicians are calling it a scam, and others are likening it to an assignment whipped up the night before it’s due.

Amanda McKenzie is the CEO of Climate Council, and she said that net zero by 2050 is a joke without strong emissions cuts this decade.

And that Australia desperately needs to dramatically scale up renewable energy, phase out coal and gas, and electrify our transport systems; otherwise we’ll remain dead last on climate action compared to other nations.

Morrison is soon off to COP26, where leaders are asked to bring “bold, time bound, and front-loaded plans to reach net zero.”

But it’s unclear if this “uniquely Australian” plan will cut it on the global stage, and risks continuing Australia’s reputation for being difficult on climate action.