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Australia’s net zero plan panned with one expert saying it’s ‘not worth the paper it’s written on’

The Morrison Government released the national plan as countries struggle to reach a deal at the the COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow.

The 100-page document details the modelling involved to get Australia to a carbon neutral point in the next 29 years.
Solar power will account for most of the electricity in Australia by 2050, the modelling shows.
Solar power will account for most of the electricity in Australia by 2050, the modelling shows. (Dorothy Woodgate)

Coal production will halve, but there are concerns the plan relies too heavily on technology and innovations which hasn’t been invented yet.

Professor Tim Flannery from the Climate Council said the plan was a “stone cold” response to the climate crisis.

Tim Flannery, a world leading climate expert, said the renewable energy industry needs more support from the Federal Government.
Tim Flannery, a world leading climate expert, said the renewable energy industry needs more support from the Federal Government. (Today)

“I am sorry to say that the modelling the government has commissioned is not worth the paper it’s written on,” he told Weekend Today from Glasgow.

“There is just no detail. The figures don’t add up.

“The government is not even going to meet its own targets according to that modelling. So it’s really – it’s kind of a distraction.”

Scrapping the renewable energy Target won't lead to cheaper household power bills, according to the man handpicked by the government to head a review.
With government support, Australia could switch to 100 per cent renewable energy within the next five – ten years.

Professor Flannery said the renewable energy industries needs a better roadmap from the Federal Government if it’s expected to do the heavy lifting.

“The idea that industry will act, yes, industry will act, but we can (only) act to the benefit of the entire economy if government makes the ruling properly,” he said.

“That’s what we pay the politicians to do. We don’t pay them to sit there and do nothing.

“We need the rules to be set properly so industry can work cost effectively and the whole of society can benefit.”

Wind power is expected to play a much larger role in Australia's energy section by 2050.
Wind power is expected to play a much larger role in Australia’s energy section by 2050. (Bloomberg)

He said Australia was sticking with coal despite other countries steering clear.

“It’s like Australia has seen a big pile of money behind the side of the road and decided not to pick it up,” he said.

With proper support Professor Flannery said Australia could switch to 100 per cent renewable energy within the next five to ten years.

“All the modelling I have seen says we can do and do it quickly.

“We can use hydrogen, we can use the wind and the sun. This could be the bases of enormous new wealth for the nation. But you’ve got to have the policy settings in place to attract that investment.”

Smoke pours from the steelworks and coal loading facility in Port Kembla, NSW.
Smoke pours from the steelworks and coal loading facility in Port Kembla, NSW. (Getty / Brook Mitchell)

Australia’s response to climate change has been under the spotlight due to the Glasgow climate summit.

Countries like Australia and India, the world’s third-biggest emitter, have resisted calls to phase out coal.
NSW flooding

Cars underwater as heavy rain hits parts of NSW

The COP26 summit was due to wrap up today but it’s likely a pact won’t be reached until late into the night or tomorrow.

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