Scott Morrison used Australia’s guest status at the recent G7 summit to sign numerous deals relating to technological innovations to combat climate change. Australia has inked deals with Japan and Germany to develop technology to reach a ‘net zero emissions future’ by addressing a technology-led approach rather than a target-led approach.
"Our partnership with Germany will accelerate the development of an Australian hydrogen industry and create new jobs," Mr Morrison said, building upon Germany’s significant hydrogen expertise. In a joint partnership on ‘decarbonisation through technology’, Morrison seeks support from Japan to focus on ‘regional partners in their pragmatic and clean energy transitions in various forms’, aiming to accelerate the development of low- and zero- emissions technologies as soon as possible.
However, Morrison in focusing on discussion of advancing technologies has been criticised for the lack of more ambitious medium and long-term emission reduction commitments. Whilst Scott Morrison in accordance with other PMs have jointly recognised climate change as ‘one of the defining challenges and opportunities of our time’, their formal statements outlined a couple differences to commitment. “Japan reaffirms its commitment to transition to net zero emissions by 2050. Australia reaffirms its commitment to achieve net zero emissions as soon as possible, preferably by 2050.”
Australia’s commitment to lower greenhouse gas emissions to 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2030 has been criticised by many analysts to be inconsistent with preventing global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. The 2030 target was initially set by the Abbott government and Morrison’s government has given no indication of planning to meet this pledge and is likely to face increased international pressure to act in the lead-up to the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow later this year.