Australia will help regional neighbours combat climate change with technology: PM

Despite pressure, Prime Minister Scott Morrison did not make any commitments towards a 2050 net zero emissions goal.

Australia Prime Minister, Scott Morrison in a pre-recorded message, addresses the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Friday Sept. 24, 2021, at UN headquarters. (Peter Foley/Pool Photo via AP)

Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia, Scott Morrison addresses, via prerecorded video, the UNGA. Source: Pool EPA

Australia will help developing neighbours combat climate change with renewable energy technologies, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has told the United Nations general assembly.

In a virtual speech to the assembly on Saturday morning, Mr Morrison once again defended Australia’s record on climate change action, saying his government had a ‘strong record’ of achievement and was committed to achieving net zero emissions.

While he fell short of expectations to declare any commitment towards net zero emissions by 2050, Mr Morrison said he would release the long-term emissions reduction strategy ahead of the upcoming UN climate change conference in Glasgow.

He remained firm on Australia’s position to combat climate change through technology, saying Australia would also support its developing neighbours in Southeast Asia to do the same.

“We know that if we can support developing economies to embrace and use the technologies that achieve net zero emissions - and see their economies grow and increase their jobs - that is not only wonderful for those economies and their peoples but it also is good for Australia,” he told the assembly.

He said Australia was “blessed” to have transition fuels and resources needed for a new energy economy.

“And we will apply them,” he said.

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“We will apply them in our region as we continue to work with our Southeast Asian partners and to assist them make their energy transitions successfully through finance, through trade and capability building.”

On Friday, Australia and India signed a low emissions technology deal that will focus on the development of hydrogen and ultra low-cost solar programs in India.

The strategy differs from the plan outlined by China. Leader Xi Jinping used his speech at the UN general assembly to announce China would stop the development of coal-fired power plants in developing nations and help them build green energy production.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg made an intervention on Friday, pushing the case for a 2050 net zero emissions commitment, saying it was in Australia’s interest to back global climate targets.

Published 25 September 2021 at 11:02am
By Rashida Yosufzai
Source: SBS News