Prime Minister Scott Morrison (who doesn’t give flying fuck about climate change) was accidentally stuck on mute while speaking at the Leaders Climate Summit which really speaks volumes (pun unintended).
At the Summit, more than 100 nations have committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, including the US, the UK, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and Korea. China also said it hopes to reach net zero emissions by 2060, according to President Xi Jinping. However, one country was notably absent from that list…Australia.
And just like Australia has been quiet on any real climate action, Morrison was was also silent (yep, he was on mute).
“Mr Prime Minister I’m not sure we are hearing you,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said as Morrison attempted to speak. But alas, his mic turned back on mid sentence as he was discussing our 2030 emissions targets.
At this stage US President Joe Biden had already excused himself from the Summit, as Morrison was the 21st speaker out of 27 (well behind other countries like China and Russia).
As expected, Morrison’s proposed climate response was mediocre at best. He said that: in order for Australia to get achieve net zero, we need to invest in “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.
“For Australia, it is not a question of if or even by when for net zero, but importantly, how,” Morrison said.
So what’s the PM’s big plan? Well, Morrison announced that the government would invest $275 million in regional hydrogen hubs and $263.7 million for carbon capture technology.
While investing in clean energy like hydrogen might be a step in the right direction, carbon capture technology has been labelled as an “expensive failure” by the Australian Climate Council. When you factor in the price of running coal and gas power stations to the price of carbon capture technology, it’s actually six times more expensive than window power.
Well, I hope this sets a precedent that we should mute ScoMo more often.