Scott Morrison has signed contracts with Japan and Germany to develop technologies that will help achieve “a net zero emissions future” – but continues to do so withstand international pressures Officially committing Australia to a fixed deadline by 2050.
With the climate crisis taking center stage on the last day of the G7 summit in Cornwall, England, the Prime Minister stuck to his preferred approach of Focus on technologies like hydrogenrather than signing more ambitious medium- and long-term emissions reduction commitments.
Morrison met with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Sunday on the sidelines of the G7 and they announced a “partnership for decarbonization through technology”.
Both Australia and Japan would “accelerate the development and commercialization of low-emission and zero-emission technologies as quickly as possible,” including the lower-emission production of liquefied natural gas (LNG); ammonia clean fuel; clean hydrogen; and carbon capture, use and storage.
The joint statement by Morrison and Suga states that they both recognize climate change as “one of the critical challenges and opportunities of our time” and that a technology-driven response is critical to jobs and growth – but the same document pointed to their differences when it is a formal commitment to be net zero by 2050.
The statement said: “Japan reiterates its commitment to move to net zero emissions by 2050. Australia reiterates its commitment to achieve net zero emissions as soon as possible, preferably by 2050. “
Morrison met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel later on Sunday and they announced a “hydrogen deal” to “improve collaboration on technological innovation, research, development and provision to build a global hydrogen industry.”
“The Australian Prime Minister and the German Chancellor discussed their joint commitment to ambitious action against climate change in line with the Paris Agreement and closer cooperation and partnership to achieve net zero emissions and the temperature target of 1.5 ° C within reach to keep, “their joint statement said.
Analysts have said again and again Australia’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 26% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2030 is inconsistent with keeping global warming no more than 1.5 ° C above pre-industrial levels.
The goal for 2030 was first set by the Abbott administration – and Morrison has given no planning guidance improve this promise.
Morrison has also opposed a concrete commitment to net zero emissions by 2050 amid internal opposition within the coalition – though he is likely to face it increased international pressure to act ahead of the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow in November.
Britain, which hosts both the G7 and Cop26, has made it clear that it is Climate as the top foreign policy priority this year and would like all countries including Australia to set lower targets for the 2030s by creating a believable way to reach net zero by 2050.
Under the leadership of Joe Biden, the US also did urged Australia to cut emissions faster as planned.
“Australia’s policies will serve Australia’s interests,” Morrison told reporters on Saturday.
Morrison had his first personal meeting with Biden on the sidelines of the G7 summit on Saturday – but the pair were backed by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a trilateral engagement that focused on the increasingly competitive Indo-Pacific region and the growing influence of China.
Labor foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong highlighted Morrison’s inability to schedule a one-on-one interview with Biden and suggested that the prime minister’s “persistent refusal” to clearly commit to net zero by 2050 leaves Australia in isolation.
The head of the Global Compact Network Australia (GCNA), an initiative the sustainability-oriented company connects, said Morrison’s comments on net zero are “still very vague” at a time when countries should adopt “bold climate change targets”.
Kylie Porter, GCNA’s executive director, said she hoped Morrison would G7 Summit recognizing that “we have no choice left” and that the public and private sectors “need to work together to set short, medium and long term goals that will bring us to net zero well before 2050”.
Porter pointed out that the Paris Agreement, to which Australia has committed, includes a process of reviewing the goals based on the latest scientific evidence.
“I think the set-and-forget mentality is not only a risk to the government but also a risk to the business,” she said.
“We’re probably somehow falling into this trap of only looking until 2050 without collectively understanding where we need to be in the short and medium term – 2030, 2035 – and what support needs to be provided.”
Susanne Lassena, the executive director of the charity Plan International Australia, also called on the Morrison government to step up measures against the climate emergency.
“We urge the Australian government to urgently set more ambitious emissions reduction targets in order to limit global temperature increases to 1.5 ° C, beyond which many countries – including the most climate-sensitive countries in our region – are facing unmanageable suffering and devastation. “Said Lega.
The G7 – a group that includes the UK, US, Canada, Japan, Germany, France and Italy, and the European Union – are all committed to net zero by 2050. Australia was one of four other nations that made up the three-day. Summits were invited as guests.
Morrison will be in London on Monday and Tuesday to meet Johnson to try to reach an agreement in principle on a free trade agreement – but the Australian government has Australian warned it is ready to delay a deal when agricultural exporters did not have sufficient access to the UK market.