Australian PM rules out net-zero emissions target if jobs put at risk

Source: Xinhua| 2020-01-21 09:02:55|Editor: xuxin
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CANBERRA, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has ruled out pursuing a net-zero emissions target if doing so would jeopardize jobs.

Morrison on Monday announced that the government will undertake a review of the long-term trajectory of Australia's emissions reductions.

However, asked if the government would adopt a target of net-zero emissions by 2050, the same goal being pursued by the British government, Morrison said he would never commit to such a goal without knowing what impact it would have on Australians.

"What troubles me is that there are plenty of people at the moment who will go out and make a glib promise about that and they can't look Australians in the eye and tell them what it will mean for their electricity prices, what it will mean for their jobs," he told reporters.

All eight of Australia's states and territories have committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2050, even those governed by the Liberal Party, of which Morrison is the federal leader.

The prime minister on Monday rebuked Matt Kean, the environment minister in the New South Wales (NSW) Liberal government, after he claimed there was "widespread" support within the federal party for stronger climate policies.

"Matt Kean doesn't know what he's talking about. He doesn't know what's going on in the federal cabinet. Most of the federal cabinet wouldn't even know who Matt Kean was," Morrison told Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) radio.

Business leaders have also called for the federal government to take greater action on climate change.

According to a report released by accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on Tuesday, 65 percent of Australian chief executives believe climate change is a major threat to business, up from 60 percent in 2019.

Only 12 percent of respondents said they believe that collaboration between the government and business community was doing enough to mitigate climate risks.