After unveiling his plan for Net Zero by 2050, Scott Morrison is seeing criticisms of his government’s response to the climate crisis. Even David Attenborough has jumped on the train.
Australia’s ‘Long-Term Emissions Reduction’ plan, which was unveiled on Wednesday, has incited a lot of discourse to say the least. Chiefly, commentators are wondering how much the new strategy will actually do to help reduce carbon emissions, why a goal of net zero by 2030 has been overlooked, and whether it really means anything at all.
One person who’s especially critical of Australia’s response is Sir David Attenborough.
During an interview with the BBC, the British broadcaster and natural historian blasted “a leading global coal and gas supplier” for failing to increase its emissions reduction targets for 2030 – an objective of next month’s COP26 global climate summit.
In the article published on Tuesday night, Attenborough also accused Australia of “dragging its heels” on climate action.
Hold it, folks! Scott Morrison is saying that there will be technologies invented in the future, do so we don’t have to act now on climate change by getting rid of fossil fuels. Hey Morrison – these technologies exist now. RENEWABLES! How about using the technology we have NOW?
— Bethany Williams (@BethanyinCBR) October 26, 2021
He noted there’s still too many in Australia and America who are ignoring the problem of climate change, or pretending it doesn’t exist, and claiming climate change-driven disasters are simply bad luck.
“There are still people in North America, there are still people in Australia who say ‘no, no, no, no, of course, it’s very unfortunate that there was that forest fire that absolutely demolished, incinerated that village, but it’s a one-off.'”
“What climate scientists have been saying for 20 years, and that we have been reporting upon, you and I both, is the case – we were not causing false alarms.”
As to why people continue to lag on environmental and climate action, the 95 year old said when money comes into the equation, there’s many who will try and downplay the importance of new climate strategies.
“If it’s going to cost money in the short term, the temptation is to deny the problem and pretend it’s not there. But every month that passes, it becomes more and more incontrovertible, the changes to the planet that we are responsible for that are having these devastating effects.”
Attenborough has been previously critical of first-world countries, claiming they have an ethical responsibility to help solve climate change, especially on behalf of third-world countries who were unable to do much individually and who would also likely be worse off if nothing is done.
British naturalist Sir David Attenborough warned world leaders it would be too late to tackle climate change if #COP26 does not succeed. He said the richer nations had a moral responsibility to act https://t.co/08DrMq2bs7 pic.twitter.com/0eUbPkJkbQ
— Reuters (@Reuters) October 26, 2021
However, Scott Morrison has rejected the criticisms and claimed they came from people who want to tax, regulate, and shut industries down.
“Everyone else who doesn’t understand Australia, our economy and the challenges we have here are entitled to their opinions,” he told the Seven Network on Wednesday. “But I will do what is right for Australia and we are getting results.”
The government argues it’s already reduced carbon emissions by 20% since 2005 and projects a cut of 35% by the end of the decade.
The plan claims it will help create 100,000 jobs in renewable energy as well as alongside 62,000 roles in regional mining and heavy industry, and suggests Australian people will be $2,000 better off on average and electricity prices won’t rise.
“I’m not embarrassed at all when it comes to doing what is right by Australia,” Morrison said on Sunrise. “We are getting results. We are getting it done. Our emissions are down.”