Scott Morrison departs for Glasgow armed with a net zero commitment but without modelling

Courtney GouldNCA NewsWire
Not Supplied
Camera IconNot Supplied Credit: News Corp Australia

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has flown off for key climate talks with a commitment but without finalised modelling for his plan.

Mr Morrison will meet with world leaders first at the G20 leaders’ summit in Rome before travelling to Glasgow for the much anticipated United Nations COP26 climate summit.

It is the first in-person gathering of the leaders of the world’s biggest economies since the pandemic started.

Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor will accompany the Prime Minister on his VIP jet “Shark One”.

PM Flies to Glasgow
Camera IconScott Morrison about to board a RAAF plane in Canberra. NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage Credit: News Corp Australia

In a statement prior to his departure, Mr Morrison said the pandemic and climate would be at the top of his agenda during his time overseas.

“These important international meetings come as the world has reached a critical point in our health response and economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, and our collective effort to address the challenges of climate change,” Mr Morrison said.

“COP26 will be crucial in the global effort to address the challenges of climate change.

“I look forward to supporting Prime Minister Johnson, as host of COP26, to achieve our Paris Agreement objectives and collaborate to collectively deliver net zero emissions by 2050.”

Also on Mr Morrison’s agenda will be his pitch to leaders to thwart the power of social media giants.

PM Flies to Glasgow
Camera IconThe Prime Minister at RAAF Fairbairn in Canberra. NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage Credit: News Corp Australia

“We need to fully harness the benefits of digitalisation, but in doing that, making sure the rules that apply in the real world, apply in the digital world,” he told reporters earlier on Thursday.

“I will continue to press, as Australia always has, and show the leadership on this issue globally that we must hold social media platforms to account.”

After a turbulent week in parliament, the arrival of the COP26 summit will bring little relief to Mr Morrison, who is set to face calls to lift Australia’s climate targets beyond his 2050 pledge.

PM Flies to Glasgow
Camera IconPrime Minister Scott Morrison is off to attend the COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow. NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage Credit: News Corp Australia

In the days since his policy release, Mr Morrison has copped criticism for the strategy, which lacks a solid 2030 commitment.

Instead, Mr Morrison will take projections to Glasgow, which, if reached, could reduce Australia’s emissions by 30 to 35 per cent by 2030.

He’s also set to be reunited with former colleague Mathias Cormann, who is likely to press Australia to adopt stronger climate targets – including a carbon pricing scheme.

In a statement overnight, Mr Cormann said progress across G20 nations remained “uneven”.

PM Flies to Glasgow
Camera IconScott Morrison at RAAF Fairbairn in Canberra. NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage Credit: News Corp Australia

“G20 economies are lifting their ambition and efforts, including through the explicit and implicit pricing of carbon emissions,” the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development secretary-general said.

“However, progress remains uneven across countries and sectors, and is not well enough coordinated globally.

“We need a globally more coherent approach which enables countries to lift their ambition and effort to the level required to meet global net zero by 2050, with every country carrying an appropriate and fair share of the burden while avoiding carbon leakage and trade distortions.

“Carbon prices and equivalent measures need to become significantly more stringent and globally better coordinated to properly reflect the cost of emissions to the planet, and put us on the path to genuinely meet the Paris Agreement climate goals.

OECD analysis found Australia ranked 11th out of 18 countries for carbon pricing, which Australia imposes through fuel excise.

Australia does not have a carbon pricing scheme following the repeal of the Gillard government’s carbon tax in 2014.

Mr Cormann will also attend the G20 talks and COP26 climate summit.

The Prime Minister has previously said he will not introduce a carbon pricing scheme.

Originally published as Scott Morrison departs for Glasgow armed with a net zero commitment but without modelling

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