Australia pledges to reach net zero emissions by 2050

Australia pledges to reach net zero emissions by 2050
Australia's Great Barrier Reef is under existential threat from climate change. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: Australia, one of the world’s most criticised polluters, has promised it will achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the long-delayed pledge after bargaining with resistant MPs within his government.

Mr Morrison said Australia had a plan to lower its carbon emissions, but it doesn’t include ending its massive fossil fuel sectors.

The country will also not set ambitious targets for 2030 – an objective of the upcoming COP26 global climate summit.

In a newspaper column on Tuesday, Mr Morrison wrote: “We won’t be lectured by others who do not understand Australia. The Australian Way is all about how you do it, and not if you do it. It’s about getting it done.”

To halt the worst effects of climate change, countries have pledged to limit rising temperatures to 1.5C by 2050.

This goal requires cutting carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050, scientists say.

Australia has long dragged its heels on climate action, putting it increasingly at odds with strategic allies including the UK and US.

The country is one of the dirtiest countries per head of population and a leading global supplier of coal and gas.

Critics say that Australia’s 2050 pledge offers no concrete plans to limit mining for fossil fuels.

Mr Morrison wrote in his column: “We want our heavy industries, like mining, to stay open, remain competitive and adapt, so they remain viable for as long as global demand allows.”

The Australian PM said it was “not a straight line” to net zero, meaning Australia would first invest in more gas and solar to meet its electricity needs.

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