Australia is betting on technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has told an online climate summit hosted by the US.
“Australia is on the pathway to net zero,” Mr Morrison said early on Friday morning in an address to a meeting convened by US President Joe Biden.
“Our goal is to get there as soon as we possibly can through technology that enables and transforms our industries, not taxes that eliminate them and the jobs and livelihoods they support and create, especially in our regions.”
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The US, the UK and the European Union say they are aiming to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, a target the federal government has not previously provided a solid commitment to.
“For Australia, it is not a question of if or even by when for net zero, but importantly how,” Mr Morrison said on Friday, adding the government was putting money towards finding new technology solutions.
“We are investing around $20 billion to achieve ambitious goals that will bring the cost of clean hydrogen, green steel, energy storage and carbon capture to commercial parity,” he said.
“In Australia our ambition is to produce the cheapest clean hydrogen in the world, at $A2 per kilogram.”
Mr Morrison made his comments from the Sydney Commonwealth Parliament Offices cabinet room after Mr Biden kicked off the summit by announcing the US would aim to cut its greenhouse gas emissions in half, from 2005 levels, by 2030.
“Mr President, in the United States you have the Silicon Valley,” Mr Morrison said.
“Here in Australia we are creating our own ‘Hydrogen Valleys’ where we will transform our transport industries, our mining and resource sectors, our manufacturing, our fuel and energy production.
“In Australia our journey to net zero is being led by world-class pioneering Australian companies like Fortescue, led by Dr Andrew Forrest, Visy, BHP, Rio Tinto, AGL and so many more of all sizes.”
Mr Morrison’s address to the global summit was preceded by a speech from Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering and was followed by remarks from Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne.
© AAP 2021