Mere hours ago, I wrote about how a Joe Biden presidency could be a step in the right direction towards our own climate action. But it appears I spoke too soon because our very own Scott Morrison has essentially said “no thanks, ignoring the ever-present threat of climate change is working just fine, actually.”
Scott Morrison has continually refused to commit to the net-zero emissions target adopted by other developed nations including the UK, France, Denmark, Hungary, South Korea, New Zealand, China, Japan and now the USA.
To be quite frank, it’s embarrassing. Scott Morrison’s stance on climate change is cowardly and all Australians should be ashamed of it.
But when Biden pledged to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement and set a target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 as his first move as president, many of us truly had hope that Scott Morrison would pull his head out of his ass and follow suit.
However, he’s gone on record today to basically say a big, fat “nah”.
“Australia will always set its policies based on Australia’s national interests and the contributions we’re making in these areas,” Mr Morrison said on Monday.
“The United States will make their decisions based on their interests and their capabilities and how their economy is structured and we’ll do the same.”
For those of you playing along at home, climate change is quite literally the *biggest* threat to our economy, our planet, and our way of life as we know it.
Ignoring climate change is predicted to cost the Australian economy $3 trillion and nearly a million jobs by the year 2070. So actually, Scotty, it *is* in our national interests to do something about it.
Morrison claims that climate policies aren’t a “one size fits all” issue, and with that, I agree. But at this point, we’re one of very few developed countries who aren’t pulling our weight on an issue that is quite literally life or death for many, including our neighbours in the Pacific.
“Our goal is to achieve that as soon as you can, but we will do it on a basis of a technology roadmap,” he said.
“So we have the technology to achieve lower emissions in the future.”
“You have got to have the plan to get there.”
I understand that these things take time, hence the 2050 deadline. But Australia’s efforts simply aren’t good enough.
Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has pledged that he’ll commit to the 2050 net-zero target if elected.
“One of the things I have said consistently is that we will take our policy to the election consistent with net-zero emissions by 2050,” he said.
“That’s now consistent with the United States, with Japan, with Korea, with Europe, with the United Kingdom, with New Zealand. Australia is now isolated amongst our major trading partners when it comes to those issues.”
Biden is hardly the most progressive guy to be elected President, and even he can understand the importance of this. So why the hell can’t Scott Morrison?
Make no mistake here, Australia, we are more than capable of committing to net-zero, but Scott Morrison is taking the coward’s way out.