Scott Morrison reveals emissions modelling

·3-min read

Australia's plan to cut emissions to net zero by 2050 assumes soaring export values while potentially creating more than 100,000 jobs.

Modelling underpinning the target anticipates all of Australia's export markets to increase in value by mid-century, including mining by five per cent.

This is despite the value of Australia's coal production halving because of changing global demand.

The value of agriculture is also projected to grow by 30 per cent and heavy industries by 110 per cent by 2050.

Modelling foreshadows the potential creation of more than 100,000 jobs, including up to 62,000 in mining and heavy industries.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison released the modelling on Friday afternoon as international COP26 climate negotiations in Glasgow wrapped up.

He was criticised for not making the detail public before Glasgow.

The modelling anticipates Australian hydrogen production could provide up to 10 per cent of global supply by 2050 and generate $1000 per person.

The share of electric or zero emissions vehicles on Australia's roads is also expected to skyrocket to 90 per cent.

This corresponds with road transport emissions falling by more than 70 per cent by mid-century.

Electricity generation is projected to be around two-and-a-half times 2020 levels by then, with variable renewables accounting for about 80 per cent of generation.

The modelling anticipates Australia's net zero emissions reducing by 85 per cent by 2050, with "further technological improvements" relied on to make up the gap.

"The department considers it likely that further technology breakthroughs and cost reductions beyond those modelled could close the remaining gap to net zero emissions by or before 2050," it said.

It assumes an average global temperature rise of 2C and does not consider the economic consequences of climate change itself.

"The modelling and analysis is not a precise prediction of how trends in technology or the Australian economy will unfold over the next three decades," it said.

"In particular, the quantity of emissions reduction or offsets generated in the model should not be interpreted as requiring a specific reduction or output from that sector."

Energy Minister Angus Taylor insisted the modelling set out a credible pathway to net zero emissions while preserving existing industries.

"The modelling shows that a clear focus on driving down technology costs will enable Australia to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 without putting industries, regions or jobs at risk," he said.

Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese maintained Labor would release its mid-term emissions target after the COP26 climate summit.

"There'll be plenty of time for us to go through the detail of what medium-term objectives we have and for us to have a debate about that," he said.

Mr Albanese would not be drawn on whether he supported a draft COP26 decision urging a 45 per cent reduction on emissions by 2030.

Climate Council senior researcher Tim Baxter said the 2C temperature scenario would mean the death of the Great Barrier Reef and serious problems for Pacific islands.

"At COP26 in Glasgow, our Pacific island neighbours have been mobilising around the mantra of '1.5 to stay alive'," he said.

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