Australia

Australia is considering adopting a net-zero carbon emissions target by 2050

Protesters hold placards during a climate change rally in Sydney, 10 January, 2020. Source: AAP

Australia will discuss adopting a net-zero carbon emissions target by 2050, in line with the United Kingdom.

Australia is considering adopting a net zero emissions target by 2050, similar to the United Kingdom and dozens of other nations, ahead of a UN climate summit in November.

Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor says the government expects to deliver a long-term emissions reduction strategy before the COP26 meeting in Scotland.

"The pathway to meaningful impacts on global emissions is through development and deployment of new technologies," Mr Taylor told the Nine newspapers on Monday.

"That is where Australia can have the biggest impact on reducing global emissions."

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said coal still had a future in Australia but renewable energy supplies would continue to grow.

"We're assessing what is both environmentally appropriate and economically responsible," Senator Cormann said.

"We will continue to make our judgements based on Australia's national interests."

Large crowds march during the The Global Strike 4 Climate rally Melbourne, Friday, September 20, 2019.
Large crowds march during the The Global Strike 4 Climate rally Melbourne, Friday, 20 September, 2019.
AAP

Nationals MP Michelle Landry said Australia needed cheap, reliable power for the manufacturing sector.

"That's what this (strategy) is about," Ms Landry told reporters.

"What does annoy me is that there are people in Melbourne who are dead against coal, but where does the power come from?"

Inner-city Liberals are agitating for more government action on climate change.

But former resources minister Matt Canavan is ramping up calls for a new coal-fired power station in Queensland

Senator Canavan described renewable energy providers as dole bludgers.

"Renewables are the dole bludgers of the energy system, they only turn up to work when they want to," he wrote in an opinion piece for the Courier-Mail.

Independent MP Zali Steggall is preparing to release details of her private member's bill to MPs and interest groups.

Ms Steggall wants to establish an independent climate change commission.

"It is time to take the party politics out of climate policy," she said.

"Now is the time for a rational approach to climate change."

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson said the prime minister was a fool for pursuing a net-zero target.

"Let's base it on science, lets base it on fact before we head down this path," Senator Hanson said.

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch