Bowen lambasts Net Zero 2050 as “fantasy” while announcing new carbon reduction policies

Scrabble tiles spell Net Zero on blue and green background
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Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen yesterday announced the government would instigate carbon reduction policies for main industry sectors, including electricity and energy, industry, built environment, agriculture and land, transport, and resources.

Bowen lambasted the Morrison Government’s Net Zero 2050 plan as “a fantasy” that relied on “future technologies to do the heavy lifting without any effort or investment to bring them about”.

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“Today I have written to the Climate Change Authority asking them to provide their statutory advice under the Climate Change Act on the 2035 target. I expect to receive this advice in late 2024,” Minister Bowen said.

“The sector plans will feed in to both our Net Zero 2050 plan and strong 2035 targets which we will lodge in keeping with our Paris commitments.”

Electrification lobby group Rewiring Australia said the federal government’s plan to craft a national 2035 emissions reduction target would succeed if community and household level electrification was a centrepiece of the strategy.

Rewiring Australia executive director Dan Cass said the fastest and most effective way to accelerate emissions reduction is to support 10 million Australian households to use solar and electrification to eliminate expensive fossil fuels.

“The hottest days in recorded history have been recorded this year and it is clear we are in a climate emergency that demands faster action. The most efficient and equitable way to accelerate the rate of emissions reduction is for the Labor government to double down on its historic investment in electrification, with a focus on low-income households,” Cass said.

“The federal government has allocated $1.7 billion on electrification of low-income households, social housing and small business, which was the largest climate program in the budget and shows how central it is to emissions reduction.

“Rewiring Australia research shows that decisions made around the kitchen table account for 42% of emissions in the domestic consumption economy. Households and communities are central to the challenge of increasing the rate of emissions reduction and they should be actively consulted in preference to the big energy industry incumbents.

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“When someone  shifts from grid power dominated by coal to rooftop solar, or from a petrol to electric car, they do more than change an energy source. They permanently lower their emissions and energy bills, and they never look back.

“The suburbs and shires of Australia are the key to Australia presenting a more vigorous decarbonisation target. Community level participation is essential to our decarbonisation effort.”

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