Prime Minister Scott Morrison reckons Australia can definitely achieve net zero emissions within a few decades, but won’t actually commit to any targets because he says he’s “more interested the doing,” rather than the talking. The problem is, there’s not a whole lot of “doing” actually going on.
When asked about committing to net zero emissions by 2050 – a pledge already adopted by many countries and even supported locally by every state and territory, the Business Council of Australia and the National Farmers’ Federation – here’s what he had to say.
“When we make a commitment, we meet it, and we don’t just meet it, we beat it, that’s our form,” Morrison said on Insiders on Sunday morning.
To this, host David Speers replied: “But you won’t make this commitment?”
Morrison then backtracked slightly, saying he would instead commit to investing in certain technologies, and added that we shouldn’t be narrowing down what technologies are being funded. It’s the political equivalent of saying your girlfriend goes to another school.
“Speers: Why won’t you commit to that target?
PM: Because I am more interested in the doing, David.”@David_Speers asks @ScottMorrisonMP whether he’ll commit Australia to achieving a net-zero emissions target by 2050 #Insiders #auspol @CroweDM @lenoretaylor pic.twitter.com/vPk1hIqMn9
— Insiders ABC (@InsidersABC) September 20, 2020
Which is a weird thing to say when your government’s newly-announced energy plan has an overwhelming focus on opening up natural gas basins and investing in other gas projects, instead of backing a ~wide~ range of renewables like solar, wind and hydro.
It also, quite suspiciously, makes no mention of ever achieving zero emissions.
“I know people get very focused on the politics of these commitments, but what I’m focused on is on the technology that delivers lower emissions, lower costs and more jobs,” Morrison added, as if economically committing marginally lower emissions by building gas power stations would somehow compensate for a rapidly changing climate that’s starting to look more and more apocalyptic with each year.
The other thing, of course, is that gas isn’t necessarily the cheapest solution anyway (you don’t need to pay for the sun to shine and the wind to blow, after all) and any supposed benefits would be many years away, so it’s not as if it could provide some much-needed relief during the pandemic.
The man’s gone and given us zero hope instead of zero emissions.