The minister for emissions reduction, Angus Taylor, has told an international event that the Australian government is “firmly committed to getting to net zero as soon as possible and preferably by 2050”.
While Taylor echoed the recent language of the prime minister, Scott Morrison, the comments could be seen as another sign that Australia is feeling pressure internationally over its reluctance to formally commit to the mid-century emissions target.
Yesterday the Australian Academy of Science called on the Morrison government to accelerate the country’s transition to net zero in a report that examined what Australia could look like in a 3C world.
Speaking at an International Energy Agency (IEA)/COP26 Net Zero Summit late last night, Taylor argued that “international collaboration to accelerate the development of low emissions technologies is vital if we are to achieve net zero emissions globally”.
He said ambition in climate targets was “one thing” but “action and achievements are what matter”. He said the Australian government’s focus was “very much on the ‘how’” of achieving such a transition. The minister used the speech to pledge $1m towards an IEA clean energy transitions program that provides advice and support to developing countries.
Australia is proud to support this program – and the IEA – as a forum to discuss and invest in the development of practical solutions to the world’s great policy challenges.
Taylor – speaking during a session co-chaired by the UK and China – said the rapid investment in renewable energy in Australia “isn’t driven by subsidies or deployment targets” but by rapid cost reductions.
We now need to repeat that success across the next round of new and emerging technologies, like storage, carbon capture, green steel and green aluminium.
In the lead-up to the COP26 summit in Glasgow later this year, he said, it was “vital that countries work together to get low emissions technologies to parity”.