Australia

Scott Morrison criticised for refusing to commit to net-zero emissions target by 2050

Prime Minister Scott Morrison Source: ABC

The federal government will unveil its plan to reduce emissions this week, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison saying he does not believe a net zero emissions reduction target is achievable by 2050.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese says Scott Morrison is on a road to nowhere on climate policy after the prime minister declined to commit to a net-zero emissions target by 2050.

Ahead of the government's release of its long-flagged technology roadmap this week, Mr Morrison said he did not believe the zero emissions target was achievable by 2050, but could be beyond that date.  

In a pre-recorded interview with ABC television's Insiders program, the prime minister said it was about the technology the nation invests in when considering how to make such targets happen.

"I'm more interested in the doing," Mr Morrison said.

"I know people get very focused on the politics of these commitments but what I'm focused on is on the technology that delivers lower emissions, lower costs and more jobs."

Pressed several times by Insiders' host David Speers about a commitment to a 2050 zero target, Mr Morrison said: "We are committed to investing in the technology which reduces emissions in this country."

"Those things are achievable with the right investments in the right technology.

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"And you won't get there, I guarantee you this, if you are going to narrow the sorts of technologies and the sorts of solutions that you are prepared to look at which is why we want to broaden that out."

Labor, business groups, farmers and all the Australian the states and territories want to pursue a net-zero emissions target by 2050.

"The government says they are going to have a roadmap but to a destination that they don't have," Mr Albanese told reporters in Sydney.

"A roadmap without a destination is a road to nowhere ... it's only ideology that is standing in the way."

Greg Bourne from not-for-profit group, the Climate Council said it is important that the federal government have interim targets to 2050.

"Not only do you need to know where you are going, you need to know the interim targets on the way," he told SBS News.

"The states and territories do know where they are going, and they have also set interim targets. That is critical. If you don't know where you're going, how do you get there?"

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