ALP joins business, global allies and states in race to net zero, but moving too slow

Labor’s new suite of climate policies would create jobs and economic prosperity – particularly in the regions – and could get Australia off the sidelines and back in the race to net zero.

The Climate Council has welcomed Labor’s 43% emissions reduction target by 2030, however warned that it must be strengthened. Our analysis shows:

  • The 2030 target in the ALP plan sets Australia on a path to achieve net zero in 2050.
  • Under current policy settings we won’t reach net zero until almost 2100. In fact, the Morrison government’s own modelling shows it would only be reducing emissions by a little more than a half by 2050.
  • Under the ALP plan, renewable energy (like solar and wind) is expected to power 82% of our energy needs by 2030 (up from 68% under a business as usual approach).
  • The modelling and policies are comprehensive and will lead to significant jobs growth and private investment. It would also lower power bills for households and businesses.
  • The 2030 target will need to be strengthened significantly to tackle climate change.

Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie said:

“Labor’s plan helps bridge the gap between the Morrison Government’s do nothing approach, and state government and business leaders who are forging ahead to create jobs and grow our nation’s prosperity by slashing emissions this decade.”

Ms McKenzie said the Morrison government’s existing, weak target (26-28%) was consistent with allowing more than 3°C of global warming.

“Right now, our country is the worst performing of all developed countries when it comes to cutting greenhouse gas emissions and moving beyond fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas. Labor’s plan is a major improvement, but it will need to be strengthened significantly to genuinely tackle climate change.”

“We know how dangerous global warming is because we’re being slammed by megafires like the Black Summer and extreme flooding. Our very way of life, and everything we love about this great country, is in danger from unchecked climate change.”

Climate Councillor, and leading Australian economist, Nicki Hutley:

“This policy is credible. It’s good for the economy and jobs. This is a step in the right direction, but one step on a very long journey. It’s clear Labor has carefully thought out this policy, but we could be doing so much more.

“As one of the sunniest and windiest countries on earth, Australia has unrivalled potential for renewable energy, clean industries, and clean jobs. Our regions have the most to lose from worsening extreme weather events and the most to gain from harnessing new industries. If we fail to grasp the opportunity, then we will be paying a serious price.”

The Climate Council recommends that Australia cut its emissions 75% (based on 2005 levels) by 2030, and aims to reach net zero by 2035.

/Public Release. View in full here.