Firm reaped $6 million for climate work

Georgie MooreAAP
Jo Evans says modelling looked at what was needed to make "technology roadmap" priorities cheaper.
Camera IconJo Evans says modelling looked at what was needed to make "technology roadmap" priorities cheaper. Credit: AAP

A consulting firm was paid more than $6 million for analysis behind the government's yet-to-be-released modelling for a 2050 net zero emissions target.

McKinsey and Company was awarded two separate contracts with the industry department for analysis underpinning the coalition's net zero assumptions relying partly on technology yet to be invented.

One contract was worth $4,864,750 for a technical analysis, while another $1,293,500 was awarded for follow-up work.

McKinsey's work was used by the government to claim 62,000 mining and heavy industry jobs would be created while emissions fell to net zero.

Australia's projected 30 to 35 per cent emissions cut on 2005 levels this decade assumes global warming of 2C above pre-industrial levels.

Industry department deputy secretary Jo Evans told a Senate estimates hearing on Thursday modelling looked at what was needed to make priorities identified in the government's "technology roadmap" cheaper.

These include controversial carbon capture and storage technology, hydrogen, long-duration energy storage and soil carbon.

"We're trying to understand the economic impacts of the global trends in demand for the products that are affected by countries choosing to pursue a 2C pathway," Ms Evans said.

She also said the modelling yet to be released by Prime Minister Scott Morrison was complete but still being worked into a form suitable for publication.

It did not look at the economic impacts of climate change.

Instead, it examined how the global shift away from fossil fuels would affect Australia.

"We're trying to understand the economic impacts of the global trends in demand for the products that are affected by countries choosing to pursue a 2C pathway," Ms Evans said.

The technology roadmap and emissions cuts to date would get Australia 60 per cent of the way to net zero, the government says.

"Global technology trends" and "further technology breakthroughs" are listed as making up another 30 per cent of emissions cuts, with domestic and international offsets to close the remaining gap.

Industry department boss David Fredericks said the "base case" behind the modelling was cabinet in confidence.

Mr Morrison told parliament the modelling would be released "in the next few weeks".

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