NEWS THAT MATTERS

Net zero Scotty fails climate policy test

Not surprisingly, the LNP Government released the modelling that underpins its net zero emissions by 2050 plan late last Friday afternoon (12 November), which involved a lot of assumptions on what countries around the world are going to do in the coming decades, what the demand will be for renewables and fossil fuels and also on how quickly technology will develop.

 

It also carried the assumption that consumers will increasingly opt for low-carbon options as time goes on, without the impact of government intervention.

15 November 2021

ALAN HAYES

 

SCOTTY’S expanded net zero modelling, which the Coalition are so proud of, has already been described as nothing more than science fiction economics. It doesn't actually put any costings on what's required to get us all the way to net zero by 2050.

 

It still has this 15% of the task put down to some yet to be determined magical technology that our ‘Born Again Climate Believer’ Prime Minister is convinced will deliver Australia to the finishing line on net zero emissions by 2050.

 

What Australia doesn’t need is magical technology from fairyland! What we do need is a sensible policy from sensible politicians, both of which we are not getting.

 

Solmo was dragged into net zero kicking and screaming as an ardent non believer; he really didn’t want to go to Glasgow, but was left with no choice and then had to try and convince the world that Australia was committed by pulling out a glossy blue pamphlet and saying "we have a plan" – a plan that what people are now calling a 'scamphlet'. And now we've got the Sco-modelling to go with that. It's hugely disappointing and embarrassing for Australia as a nation.

 

And that's why Australia's approach to Glasgow, to COP26, has been rated at the very bottom of the pile by our international peers. So, it should come as a surprise that Australia has aced the prestigious COP26 ‘Colossal Fossil’ hall of shame award. It wasn’t, after all a difficult win; ‘fossil fool’ Scotty gave a performance in Glasgow that resembled parts of the Australian outback: a barren wasteland, devoid of anything remotely resembling an idea, strategy or policy on fossil fuels, energy or transport.

 

Morrison’s abysmal failure in Glasgow had the rest of the world wondering if there was a glimmer of a light, a small ray of hope that our Prime Minister would pull a miracle from his hat. No, it was not to be!

 

The Australian contingent, despite Scotty’s inane rhetoric, were still optimistic and took cheer and comfort from the coffee machine in the Australian pavilion. The optimism was short lived, however, as it soon became abundantly clear that Scott Morrison and his band of merry fossil fools either failed to sign up to a progressive phase-out pledge or made an announcement that was better suited to an oil, gas and coal convention.

 

And now that Morrison is back in Australia, cranking up his electioneering bus, he’s trying to convince the Australian people that he has had a net zero epiphany and is now a true believer in electric cars and renewable energy and no longer has the stain of juggled coal on his hands. The only net zero in this equation is Scott Morrison!

 

So, what does ‘Fossil Fuel’ Scotty’s claim will be the answer in the newly released climate policy?

 

The government’s modelling claims that solar power will account for most of the electricity in Australia by 2050 and that electricity and transport are projected to substantially decarbonise, even under current trends.

 

But much of the government’s plan is reliant on predictions of what technology that does not exist yet will do to carbon emissions in the future. It also carries the assumption that consumers will increasingly opt for low-carbon options as time goes on, without the impact of government intervention and more than likely a generous sprinkling of fairy dust.

 

The plan also ballyhoos that a large portion of the "net zero" target uses emissions trading with other countries to offset carbon pollution in Australia.

 

So, what does this mean? Simply put, imagine for a second if Morrison proposed dealing with the threat of Covid-19 by paying people in New Zealand to stay at home when they want to go out, and justifying an absence of restrictions in Australia on those grounds. It’s raw madness in any other context, but somehow, in climate, we’ve been bullied into treating it as normality. It’s nothing more than a crock-full of political manure!

 

Yet Energy and Industry Minister Angus Taylor still touts the benefits of the plan and said "The modelling shows that a clear focus on driving down technology costs will enable Australia to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 without putting industries, regions or jobs at risk."

 

“The modelling shows that Australians will be nearly $2000 better off on average in 2050 under our Plan, relative to no action, with more than 62,000 new regional mining and heavy industry jobs created by 2050," he said.

 

And although the plan assumes that coal power generation will drop to almost zero by 2050, the government according to Angus Taylor is showing no signs of moving away from mining.

 

The government’s climate policy plan further assumes that by 2050 petrol-powered cars will also be largely obsolete, with fully-electric cars accounting for nearly every vehicle on the road. But not under the Coalition government, who refuse to reduce tariffs and make electric vehicles affordable to everyone.

 

Just like the plan’s notion that wind power generation will increase, the government’s hypothesis on a workable policy to net zero by 2050 is also driven by wind.

 

Australia should be taking advantage right now of opportunities to a bright net zero future, not depending on future technologies that may or may not happen. And just like so many previously missed opportunities, where Scott Morrison hoodwinked Australian’s in believing we were at the top of the list, our nation will be coming last.

 

Unfortunately, as the Prime Minister goes off around the country kicking off his re-election campaign over the next six months, Australians can expect to hear more of the Morrison dishonesty and see more of the incompetence that's been the hallmarks of his government. There will be more slogans and there will be more scare campaigns, if his spin doctors can possibly come up with them, which is a terrible shame for Australia because we've got a massive challenge to secure a net zero future.

 

We need a government that is prepared to accept the net zero challenge in a responsible way with a responsible plan. Australians do not need more of the same political spin to satisfy the self-serving interests of politicians.

Grapevine News Online

Central Coast NSW

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