Prime Minister Scott Morrison has yet again played down the impacts of climate change, referring to net zero as an aggressive and frustrating target.
Australia’s PM was grilled in Washington on whether Australia would join the US and other Western peers in pledging to reduce global warming and build resilience to climate change by 2050. But, resolute in his resistance to the pledge, Scott Morrison termed the net-zero goal as aggressive.
Asked whether Australia had decided to go net zero by 2050, the PM told reporters: “If Australia had made such a decision I would have announced it.
“Australia has not made a final decision on that matter. I will consider it further when I return to Australia.”
Seemingly diverting the attention away from Australia, Mr Morrison added: “If we want to make a difference on climate change, we’ve got to make a difference everywhere, not just in advanced economies.”
Mr Morrison is due to attend the UN climate summit in Glasgow in November, where he is expected to in fact commit to net zero by 2050.
Last year, Mr Morrison received a very cool reception by the UN after it decided to block the PM from speaking at the summit, having deemed his climate change policies too weak.
Following the snub, the PM attended the Pacific Island Forum and used this platform to send a message to the UN – instead of committing to net zero by 2050 Australia would chase its own, unspecified, targets.
But with the federal election just around the corner, the PM is now likely to change his tune with a recent survey conducted for The Sydney Morning Herald revealing as many as 60 per cent of Aussies support the adoption of a 2050 “net zero” target.
Moreover, just this month, the Reserve Bank of Australia released a report warning that physical and transitional risks stemming from the climate crisis could have a systematic impact on the Australian financial system.
The paper, which outlines preliminary estimates of the possible scale of climate exposure facing Australian banks, the RBA estimated that if left unmanaged, climate change could spell real trouble for the local financial system.
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