Scott Morrison’s recent refusal to commit to net zero emissions by 2050 is in stark contrast to the Pacific Islands Forum’s call for nations including Australia to develop strategies to reach this target.
At last year’s Forum, the leaders called for:
“All Parties to the Paris Agreement to formulate and communicate mid-century long-term low greenhouse gas emissions development strategies by 2020. This may include commitments and strategies to achieve net zero carbon by 2050…”
But once again we see that Scott Morrison is always there for the photo op but is never there for the follow up.
On Sunday, the Prime Minister said that his plan was for Australia to achieve net zero emissions “in the second half of this century”, not in 2050.
When the Prime Minister was asked in February if he was still considering net zero emissions by 2050 as he indicated to Pacific leaders, he said:
“I gave a commitment to look at that issue and consider that issue in that statement and I stand by that”.
This isn’t good enough. Scott Morrison is creating a leadership vacuum in the region for other countries to fill.
In September 2018, the Pacific Islands Forum – which includes Australia – declared climate change to be the biggest threat to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of the Pacific nations’ people.
Net zero emissions by 2050 is a target that’s supported by scientists, by every state in the country and by the broad business community.
Our Pacific neighbours desperately need this Government to take climate change seriously.
Just this week the President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, David Kabua, warned that countries like his would be “swept away” unless major emitting nations upheld their promises on climate change.
Yet again Scott Morrison has shown that he is unable to deliver real action on climate change and is damaging our national interest in the region as a result.