By Celine Lai

RenewEconomy reported on 24 September 2021:

Regardless of whether, or when, prime minister Scott Morrison finally commits Australia to a specific zero emissions target, global markets have already made up their mind, and money is already being moved. Trillions of dollars will follow.

Morrison’s offsider, federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg, gave a speech to the Australian Industry Group that made clear that he, at least, sees global investment markets already operating on the basis that the world will move towards a zero-emissions goal.

Rebecca Miluka-Wight, Executive Officer of the Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC), said that net zero by 2050 is not enough. The UN, scientists, and global investors are calling for stronger targets to cut emissions within the next decade, which will count most.

“Over 70 per cent of Australia’s two-way trade is now with countries that have committed to net zero emission by or near mid-century,” Mikula-Wight stated.

“Australia’s 2030 emissions reduction target is now one of the weakest among comparable countries in the G20. An enhanced 2030 goal and a national commitment to net zero by 2050 are critical signals to global markets that Australia is keeping pace with the world” she also said, as reported by RenewEconomy.

In the same article, RenewEconomy reports the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, as saying.

“If we want to address climate change, then we need to address the change that is necessary in developing economies, so they can grow their economies, build their industries, make the things the world needs.”

Scott Morrison continues to tout the same old tired line, trying to shift the focus on other countries. 

But because every nation needs to reduce greenhouse gases, and Australia is well placed to become a renewable energy power-house with plans such as “Beyond Zero Emission’s” Million Jobs Plan, Australia should be doing all it can to move away from polluting, warming fossil fuels.

Time will tell if the Treasurer’s spoken intentions will translate to immediate action toward net zero, and toward Australian improved Nationally Determined Contributions of reducing GHGs by 2030. 

Notably, Ketan Joshi, Climate and Clean tech author and analyst, stated on Twitter, that the delivery of the Government’s program or plans toward actually achieving net zero matters may be a delaying tactic OR a sincere sign-post toward net-zero within Australia.

If the latter, then it provides the opportunities to push for nearer term action, as distinct from declarations. 

Currently the Australian government is relying too much on CCS or Carbon Capture Storage, claiming “technology” is the answer to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. According to a University of Melbourne report, CCS is a critical component, but is a transitional technology, aimed to reduce coal and gas emissions during the switch to renewables. 

The Uni of Melbourne says modelling states about CCS:

“It provides a way to avoid emitting excess carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by catching emissions from coal plants, cement plants and factories, then transporting and injecting the captured CO2 into geological storage reservoirs.  75% of emission cuts were due to increased energy efficiency and renewables, while CCS is responsible for 14%.”

We all know that the best way to stop warming up and polluting the Earth is not to keep burning and using fossil fuels, i.e. gas and coal. We need everyone on board to further a just transition to a renewable-energy Australia. We have the technology not only for CCS, but to become a renewable-energy powerhouse!

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