MELBOURNE (Reuters) – The Australian government is in no rush to sign a net zero carbon emission target by 2050, although it recognizes the importance of working towards that goal, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in an interview published on Saturday.
Morrison’s conservative government, in a surprise policy shift last month, said it would achieve its 2030 carbon emissions pledge under the Paris climate agreement without counting carbon credits from over-achieving previous climate targets.
But in an interview with The Australian newspaper, Morrison said he would not take his new 2030 or 2035 emission reduction targets to the United Nations main climate conference in Glasgow in November.
“It’s about whether you can produce hydrogen at the right cost, it’s about whether (carbon capture and storage) can be done at the right cost, whether we can produce low-emission steel and aluminum at the right cost,” the paper quoted Morrison as saying.
“That’s how you get to net zero. You don’t get there just by having a commitment. That’s where the discussion should lead, and I think (US President Joe) Biden’s administration is giving the opportunity to really pursue that with a little enthusiasm. “
Australia’s emissions are now projected to be 29% below 2005 levels by 2030, compared with the Paris agreement target to reduce carbon emissions of between 26% and 28%, based on recent growth in renewable energy and what could be achieved under A $ 18 billion ($ 14 billion) technology investment plans outlined by the government in September.
“We all want to be there,” said Morrison. “It’s not about politics anymore, it’s about technology.”
He added that the timetable for committing to a net-zero-emissions target would depend on “where the science is and where our assessments are based on technology”.
($ 1 = 1.2960 Australian dollars)
Reporting by Lidia; Edited by William Mallard
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