The federal-state divide on net zero emissions by 2050 is ever clear with political alliances not enough to stop criticism of the Morrison government’s plan.
All states and territories are aiming for net zero emissions by 2050, a timeframe the federal government is under increasing pressure to also adopt.
At an industry event on Friday, federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor said he hoped to achieve the goal “as soon as possible” with the sector keenly awaiting a teased announcement expected to further flesh out the policy.
“As I speak to ministers around the world the discussions tend to be very focused on the how, because that’s the challenge we all face,” Mr Taylor said.
He’s focused on a technology road map which has price goals for certain methods to make them economically viable, in the hopes they become the technology of choice.
Mr Taylor isn’t terrified about the impacts of climate change but understands the effect it’s having.
“I’m not terrified because I believe in Australia and I believe in people’s capacity to solve hard problems,” he told the Carbon Market Institute event.
“So I guess that’s not an emotion I feel – but excitement, frustration absolutely.”
South Australia’s Climate Change Minister David Speirs described his Liberal government as being progressive on such issues.
The state has locked in the 2050 goal as well as a halfway target by 2030.
“But that risks jurisdictions sitting on their laurels and hoping for technological and innovation-based solutions to pop up in 2045, 2048 and get you over the line,” Mr Speirs said.
“We need these targets in place so we can actually get the long-term pathway to 2050 but a shorter term pathway to the 50 per cent reduction by 2030.
“That’s going to require real leadership from government, real partnerships with business and a community brought along on the journey.”
His sentiments are shared by NSW Energy Minister Matt Kean, who has not been afraid to push his renewables plans while butting heads with his federal Liberal counterparts.
Victoria’s Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio boasted about the state’s recent budget measures to increase renewables investment and cut emissions.
“In Australia it’s clear that our states need to lead our communities,” she said.
Economic opportunity in carbon farming is a key area for Western Australia, whose Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan is looking at soil carbon methods to ensure they’re fit for the state.
Mr Taylor said work would begin next year to collate soil carbon data and land management in order to lower the price of the technology.