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Survey shows majority of Aussies want net zero emissions by 2050

While ScoMo is under pressure from world leaders to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Australian public voices their opinions.

A survey conducted for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age has shown that Aussies’ support for adopting a 2050 “net zero” emissions target by the federal government has hit 60 per cent.

Aussies are also supporting the more ambitious target of cutting emissions by 2030, with 52 per cent of people saying the government should do more to deepen these cuts over the next decade.

Australia Climate Change
Image: Redux Pictures

Yesterday in New York, Scott Morrison met with US President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, two world leaders placing pressure on the Prime Minister to do more to cut emissions.

Biden’s plea for leaders to commit to deeper cuts at the UN climate summit (to be held in Glasgow in November) puts pressure on ScoMo to go beyond his policy of reducing emissions by 26 to 28 per cent by 2030.

“We have to bring to Glasgow our highest possible ambitions,” said the US President.

“Those that have not yet done so, time is running out.”

Morrison is yet to reveal any amended commitments, though he says Australia is on track to “meet and beat” its formal pledge, which was made six years ago.

Speaking to the UN, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressed his concern that “too many major economies are lagging too far behind”.

He also said that he is angry at the failure to meet the Paris Agreement promise because it is central to limiting the damaging impacts of climate change.

Following the meeting, ScoMo indicated Australia would update its climate commitments ahead of the summit in November.

“Our achievements in reducing emissions is an important story for Australia to continue to tell,” he told reporters.

“We will continue to work on our plan as to how we can continue to reduce emissions to zero well in the future.”

UN Assistant Secretary-General Selwin Hart previously called on wealthy nations to stop using coal-fired power by 2030.

The survey found 49 per cent of responding Aussies agreed with the statement that “Australia should phase out all its remaining coal-fired power stations by 2030”, but another 19 per cent opposed this idea, while 32 per cent were undecided.

35 per cent backed a longer transition to phase-out coal, and 27 per cent opposed it, while 38 per cent were undecided.

However, the survey found stronger support for a statement that put no timeframe on the change, saying: “Australia should keep mining and exporting coal while there is international demand”.

44 per cent agreed, and 23 per cent disagreed, with 33 per cent undecided.

ScoMo’s stated policy is to reach net zero “preferably” by 2050.