Federal Opposition Leader, Anthony Albanese, has announced that the Australian Labor Party will adopt a carbon neutral target of zero net emissions by the year 2050.
In a major speech to a think tank in Melbourne, Mr Albanese outlined his plan for the party’s climate policy, including the decision to cease the use of Kyoto carryover credits.
If enacted, the plan would see Australia join 73 countries, 398 cities and 786 businesses who’ve already committed to the goal, including every Australian state and territory.
“This should be as non-controversial in Australia as it is in most nations,” Mr Albanese said.
“Climate change is real and needs a real response.”
Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister, Angus Taylor, criticised his opponents for not learning from their previous climate policy “mistake”.
“It’s a target without a plan to get there, and a 2050 target is no substitute for a 2030 target,” Mr Taylor said.
“Our position is clear – we won’t set new targets without being able to look Australians in the eye and tell them how we’ll get there and how much those policies will cost.”
In his speech, Mr Albanese said that the time for action on climate change was now.
“The climate wars have seen a decade wasted, when it should have been a decade won.”
“We should be a clean energy superpower – harnessing the wind and sun to spark a new manufacturing boom. Developing a hydrogen industry. Creating manufacturing jobs here in Australia in new industries that provide well paid jobs.”
The Coalition has yet to commit to the long-term target, but instead focused on reducing emissions by 26 to 28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030.
Labor has not set a shorter-term 2030 target, and the economical cost of its new target is still under debate.