If Labor plans to keep its promise of emission reductions by 2050, serious action must be taken as time is running out,
My latest piece for Independent Australia argues that if the 2050 target is taken seriously, Labor must have policies for 2030 similar to those taken to the 2019 election.
9 thoughts on “One cheer for Labor’s 2050 zero net emissions target”
I promise to be a really good, thoughtful, selfless person by 2050. We can see this is a completely hollow promise. I may be dead by 2050. In fact, I almost certainly will be dead well before 2050. Why am I putting off personal improvement to assist others until 2050? Is it because I don’t want to change? Is it because I don’t want to make any real effort? Is it because I don’t want to make any real sacrifices right now? The answer to all these rhetorical questions is, “Of Course!”
Labor’s promises are hollow and worthless. Zero emissions by 2050 and by the way we still take coal industry political donations and yes we will still be using coal in 2050. “Coal exports still likely in 2050” – Albanese. “Labor will not harm coal industry to meet 2050 net zero target, Fitzgibbon says.”
I’m going to lose weight starting tomorrow. Meanwhile, I am going to eat this yummy big piece of cake. Tomorrow never comes. The now is eternal… until it collapses.
The linked piece says “2050 is only 30 years away.”.
From the point of view of everyday political calculation, 2050 is as relevant as 3050. That’s why everybody from the EU down is embracing it. Everybody who is in a position of authority who is talking it up will be dead or staring blankly at a wall in their nursing home in 2050.
“and yes we will still be using coal in 2050. “Coal exports still likely in 2050” – Albanese. “Labor will not harm coal industry to meet 2050 net zero target, Fitzgibbon says.”
I’m not over the detail but it seems that the govt is way out of step with the reality, AEMO and others (eg Spark Infrastructure) see the end of ~63% of coal fired power by 2040, to be replaced by renewables. Apparently there’s no problem with the infrastructure.
With the way the finance world is going coal could end much earlier than 2040 and Labor could (finally) be on the right side of history.
[…] via One cheer for Labor’s 2050 zero net emissions target — John Quiggin […]
Zali Steggall’s petition for signing:
“On March 23, Independent MP Zali Steggall will introduce a private member’s bill to Parliament and call for a conscience vote…”
It seems aimed to set up something like the Climate Council. Will COALbo vote against it?
What of cringeworthy COALbo’s lovely exports? See Steggall’s bill:
Section 29 Fossil fuel export emissions
(1) The Commission must advise on the effect of Australia’s fossil fuel export emissions in meeting the objects of this Act.
(2) The Minister may, by legislative instrument, determine:
(a) the meaning of fossil fuel export emissions; and
(b) the method for accounting for fossil fuel export emissions.
(3) However, the Minister must not make a determination under subsection (2) unless:
(a) the Minister has referred the proposed determination to the Commission; and
(b) the Commission has provided advice on the determination.
Australia is a small country in world terms. To a first approxomatkon, it has zero influence on the relevant prices and technologies. Electric vehicles are one obvious example. They are already at or near TCO parity, and sticker price parity will come around 2025 – well before 2030. There is only one market the Australian government can materially affect: seaborne coal. The options are to accelerate its decline, or just watch it happen.
I am not impressed. Are Labor really going to present themselves as doing more and risk looking “green” and “anti-coal”? Or present themselves doing the barest bit more than the LNP – distancing themselves from “green” politics but getting closer to LNP policy – and hoping advances in solar and wind and batteries as well as international actions take the issue out of the hands of planners and policy makers and make all they do or say in support of the coal industry moot?
I am not convinced Labor actually hopes any such thing. I think they don’t really get the climate problem even now or even believe that their commitment to the future of coal and gas mining is any less absolute than the LNP’s, overriding all science based concerns about global warming.
Labor minimising ambition the issue means it loses it’s power to draw those of the mainstream middle who lean right but do think the issue needs addressing from voting Labor. Surely those are the voters that most matter.
Those who care passionately about climate tend to vote Greens if only as protest, but middle Australia is not going to turn to The Greens for solutions – although I think that is more about the LibNatLab Triopoly that owns Australian politics keeping them out than the solutions offered by The Greens being unreasonable; promoting and maintaining the perception that The Greens are unreasonable and irresponsible is – like support for fossil fuels – one of the few points of near unanimous tripartisan agreement.