Top Australian business lobby backs plan for net zero emissions

Source: Xinhua| 2020-02-11 09:59:38|Editor: Xiaoxia
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CANBERRA, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- Australia's business community has thrown its support behind a push for net zero emissions by 2050.

The Business Council of Australia (BCA), which comprises the chief executives of more than 100 of Australia's largest companies, called for a "line in the sand" on climate policy.

Independent Member of Parliament (MP) Zali Steggall on Monday introduced a bill to Parliament that would enshrine in law a plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

It would establish an independent Climate Change Commission, which would advise the government on how best to reduce emissions.

Both the government and opposition have ruled out support for Steggall's bill but Jennifer Westacott, the head of the BCA, said it was a sensible way forward.

"This has always got stuck on the detail. It's always got stuck on the ideology. It's always got stuck on the demons and angels," she said during an appearance on Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) television.

"We've got to move past this point right now."

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has ruled out pursuing ambitious climate policies if doing so would harm the economy.

However, Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor on Monday confirmed that Australia will commit to a 2050 emissions reduction target at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in November.

More than 80 countries have committed to net-zero emissions by 2050, with Australia urged to follow their lead.

Introducing her bill on Monday, Steggall -- who won her inner-Sydney electorate on the back of campaigning on climate change -- said it was "for the long-term safety of Australians."

"2020 is a new decade. Let's run a line in the sand on the past divisions we have had," she said, calling for government support.