Australia to commit to long-term emissions target: energy minister

Source: Xinhua| 2020-02-10 10:40:00|Editor: Liu
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CANBERRA, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- Australia will commit to a 2050 emissions reduction target at November's United Nations (UN) climate change conference in Britain.

Angus Taylor, minister for energy and emissions reduction, told Nine Entertainment newspapers that the government will settle on its long-term target before the landmark UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow.

"The government expects to deliver a long-term emissions reduction strategy before COP26," Taylor said.

Australia has been urged to commit to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Taylor said that Australia's target would be determined by a government review of the potential impacts of adopting a net-zero goal.

He agreed with Prime Minister Scott Morrison's assessment that the answer to lowering Australia's emissions was through science and technology rather than new taxes and bureaucracy.

"The pathway to meaningful impacts on global emissions is through development and deployment of new technologies," Taylor said.

"That is where Australia can have the biggest impact on reducing global emissions."

Morrison said earlier in February that he would not be "bullied" into pursuing ambitious climate policies, saying he would "never make a commitment if I couldn't tell the Australian people what it would cost them."

Climate change has become a divisive issue within the governing coalition, with inner-city members warning that failing to tackle the issue could cost the party seats in future elections.

Conservative members of the party continue to push for new coal-fired power plants to guarantee energy supply and create jobs.

Zali Steggall, an independent Member of Parliament (MP) who won her Sydney electorate largely with a campaign on climate change, released details of her proposal on Monday to establish an independent Climate Change Commission.

The commission would hand the responsibility for climate targets and policies to the bureaucracy but establishing it would require support from members of the coalition and the opposition Labor Party.