Australia finally has climate change plans: Net-zero by 2050

Sunflower fields with wind turbines

After long being criticised on the world stage for a lack of appropriate climate planning, Australia has finally unveiled a plan to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. The government insists that the roadmap to net-zero will not focus on taxes, but rather large investments in renewable energy and clean technologies. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced the net-zero commitment, outlining a pathway to reducing emissions that see more than $20 billion invested into low-emissions technologies by 2030. 

The newly outlined plan focuses heavily on carbon capture and storage technologies, as well as the production of low-emission steel and other methods of reducing energy usage. Clean hydrogen will be introduced to reduce fuel emissions in the travel industry and the government has set a “new priority” to deliver “ultra low-cost solar”. 

The Prime Minister said the data and carbon modelling that forms the basis of the emissions plan will be revealed in the coming days, with greater detail likely to follow. It was announced that the government is expecting to create 62,000 jobs in regional mining and heavy industry as a part of the net-zero pathway. 

Australian states want climate change plans

Calls for a federal net-zero plan have come from both within Australia and overseas in the leadup to the UN Climate Change Conference starting October 31. Australia has been lambasted as one of the worst climate performers on the global stage. 

Prior to the new commitment, each individual Australian state and territory had announced their own net-zero 2050 targets, yet the federal government had refused to commit to a plan of its own. The announcement of the federal government’s pathway comes after The National Party voted over the weekend to back the PM’s plan.

The specifics of the government’s net-zero by 2050 plan are expected to be announced further in the coming days in the leadup to the UN Climate Change Conference.

It is also expected that the government will throw more support into getting renewable energy into Australian households, an area that is already growing consistently. It is likely both electric and hydrogen-fueled vehicles will see strong support from government as well.

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