Aussie PM Defies Pressure to Set a Net Zero 2050 Climate Target

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. By User:Clrdms – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has upset greens by refusing to set a net zero target. ScoMo is not concerned the net zero targets of trading partners will affect Aussie fossil fuel exports.

Australia defies international pressure to set emissions targets

By Eryk BagshawNick O’Malley and Mike Foley
Updated October 28, 2020 — 5.52pm

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he will not be dictated to by other governments’ climate change goals, declaring he is not worried about the future of Australia’s exports despite four of the country’s top trading partners adopting net-zero emissions targets.

China, Japan, Britain and South Korea, which account for more than $310 billion in Australian annual trade between them, have all now adopted the emissions target by 2050 or 2060, ramping up pressure on Australia’s fossil fuel industry. Coal and natural gas alone are worth more than 25 per cent of Australia’s exports, or $110 billion each year.

“I am not concerned about our future exports,” Mr Morrison said on Wednesday. “Australia will set our policies here. Our policies won’t be set in the United Kingdom, they won’t be set in Brussels, they won’t be set in any part of the world other than here.”

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While this development is encouraging, Scott Morrison is still publicly committed to the Paris Agreement, and still gives support to expensive green schemes like Snowy Mountains 2, a large dam and pumped hydro system which climate activists hope will easy the pain of adding more unreliable renewable capacity to Australia’s electric grid.

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October 28, 2020 10:23 am

Increasingly likely that as other countries go for net zero (e.g Japan this week) Australia’s coal market ends anyway…

Nigel in California
Reply to  griff
October 28, 2020 10:57 am

Achieving net zero does not mean reduced coal consumption. It is more than likely we will all be using coal until every last piece has been dug up.

Reply to  griff
October 28, 2020 1:24 pm

You mean the Japan that is building 22 more coal fired power stations that will last another 50-60 years.

ie LONG after any unreliables will have needed to be replace, probably twice. !

Or do you mean China, who’s ADDITIONAL Coal fired fleet is FIVE time the TOTAL of wind they will have by 2030

Your little fantasies show just how small your mind is.

Rich Davis
Reply to  griff
October 28, 2020 2:08 pm

There won’t be any reduction of demand. Thirty years from now it will be abundantly clear that nothing but beneficial warming has occurred (if we’re lucky enough to avoid a cooling period).

Within five years it will be obvious that no country will come close to living up to their insane targets.

Certainly within ten years it will have led to the fall of several governments and probably to the break-up of the EU. The mass deaths from extended cold weather power outages will be a turning point.

Just mark my words grief.

michael hart
Reply to  Rich Davis
October 28, 2020 3:00 pm

Amen, fred250 and Rich Davis.

However, it is now more than 10 years since I told a family member that within a decade the science issue would be resolved, and the alarmists case proved to be obviously wrong and built on sand. Then we could get on with solving real world problems.

But they just carried on.

I am increasingly convinced that no evidence of any kind whatsoever will make a difference. Only economic pain and human suffering. These are not hopeful times.

Reply to  michael hart
October 28, 2020 9:26 pm

“I am increasingly convinced that no evidence of any kind whatsoever will make a difference. Only economic pain and human suffering. These are not hopeful times.”

An accurate comment. In the last 10-20 years nothing has changed; the alarmists are still setting the agenda and pushing forward. Occasional pushback such as this by the Aussie PM is good for 15 minutes of PR to preach to the choir. One would think that the Germans paying 3 times the US average for electricity would be enough pain to elicit effective pushback; doesn’t seem to be happening. Same for California and Australia…nope, nothing but a little PR. I would echo the comment “These are not hopeful times.” Who has a crystal ball that can tell us what is substantially going to change in the next 10 years to change the course of history.

Rich Davis
Reply to  PMHinSC
October 29, 2020 5:40 am

I didn’t use my crystal ball to predict that if the UK and the EU continue eliminating both fossil fuels and nuclear power as they promise, they won’t have a stable grid. On some still winter’s night, with no wind and no solar, the grid will fail. All the hydro in Norway will not be enough to hold it up.

People who have been denied access to natural gas to heat their homes and forced to use electric heating will be without power. Not for a few minutes, but long enough that people die of exposure. How can it be avoided?

The only way is if they do not meet their commitments.

Reply to  PMHinSC
October 29, 2020 10:15 am

Rich Davis: “On some still winter’s night, with no wind and no solar, the grid will fail.”

So what is the guess? 5 maybe 10 years down stream? This scenario leaves the alarmists setting the agenda for another 5-10 years. No change in the foreseeable future.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  griff
October 28, 2020 2:54 pm

Increasingly likely that you don’t have a clue about the Australian coal market, Japan isn’t a major consumer, and the market isn’t likely to end anytime in either of our lifetimes.

James West
Reply to  Patrick MJD
October 28, 2020 6:29 pm

While I agree that the whole “Death of Coal exports” angle is BS, you might want to check your assumptions about Australia’s coal markets. Japan is, and has for a long time been, our largest single coal market (yes, larger even than China)

Patrick MJD
Reply to  James West
October 28, 2020 9:59 pm

That may be true for thermal coal since 2011 (Fukushima) but not all coal such as coking coal.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
October 29, 2020 4:15 am

Who doesn’t “have a clue about the Australian coal market”?

Reply to  Patrick MJD
October 29, 2020 9:34 pm

Loy d’oh is clueless about Australia coal market…

….. just as he/she/it is clueless about science and physics.

Hasn’t been able to find a clue as to warming by atmospheric CO2.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Patrick MJD
October 29, 2020 11:54 pm

“Loydo October 29, 2020 at 4:15 am”

How about you go check the RBA website about coal exports.

Reply to  griff
October 28, 2020 4:16 pm

CO2. Plant food. Nothing to see here. Move on.

Reply to  griff
October 28, 2020 5:54 pm

The village idiot showing his IQ again the price may actually go up if supplier countries do decide to drop out of the supply chain. If Australia did decide to stop exporting coal the price would have to increase in the short based on the volume Australia supplies. It’s not just about the amount of coal being exported it’s about the price you get for it.

Reply to  LdB
October 28, 2020 9:12 pm

“If Australia did decide to stop exporting coal……. ”

Indonesia would just LUV to fill that gap. 🙂

And the Chinese would surely help them.

China would also boost up the mining of their own coal…..

And because Indonesian coal is not quite as good as Aussie coal (although still pretty good), global CO2 emissions would probably increase.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  griff
October 28, 2020 7:35 pm

For those who don’t simply type the first thing that comes into their heads;

I think the following paragraph from this link is the important one in context of this discussion. There are some other discussions on how a significant percentage of coal is actually directly used in steel production (you know, steel, used to make all those wind turbine towers) but this forecast related to electricity production is a good place to start.

“The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) World Energy Outlook 2018 report presents long-term projections of thermal coal demand under different electricity generation scenarios(Graph 16). Under the IEA’s scenario framed around government policies currently in place(‘current policies’), global thermal coal demand is expected to increase moderately over the next 20 years, but still comprise a declining share of global electricity generation. An alternative IEA scenario (‘new policies’), where a range of policies currently under consideration are implemented (which the IEA suggests moves countries towards meeting their Paris Agreement obligations),would see coal-powered generation broadly unchanged over coming decades.”

Broadly unchanged over coming decades. Even WITH going woke.

This is the thing with ‘Zero Net Emissions’ – they are not saying they will have NO emissions, but they will have zero NET Emissions. No one is getting rid of coal, they are simply adding feel good ‘negative emissions’ projects so their net is zero. Basically it is the same as killing two people but then on the same weekend getting your girlfriend pregnant with twins. Zero Net Deaths. Same principle.

Oh and Griff? Japan is an enigma. Who knows what they are really doing.

Reply to  griff
October 29, 2020 4:10 am

yeah japan all the tons of contaminated soil to dump
and the titium contaminated water
new nukes on sucha nice quakeprone island
yeah that beats coal reliability n safer byproducts im sure…

Reply to  griff
October 29, 2020 9:31 am

Net zero for humanity while TERMITES continue to produce more “greenhouse gasses” than all of humanity.

Why hasn’t the Orkin Man gotten a Nobel Prize yet?

Michael Jankowski
October 28, 2020 10:24 am

Not zero crime, poverty, violent conflict, pollution, illiteracy, etc…but carbon.

October 28, 2020 10:26 am

According to AOC the world is going to end about 10 years. 2050 sounds great

Carl Friis-Hansen
October 28, 2020 11:06 am

Australia’s monthly thermal coal export has been stable the last 3 years between 15 and 20 million tonnes.
No downward trend visible, so the PM is just fearless stating the obvious:
Have a look at page 61 fig. 6.10

William Astley
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
October 28, 2020 4:50 pm

The age of coal is over. Coal burning cause significan air pollution. Air pollution is a problem through the world, especially in Asia.

If there is some that is much better than burning coal every country will change to that power source.

The age of coal is over because fission optimized is the cheapest, safest, and lowest total pollution/lowest environmental damage, energy source. It will beat coal and natural gas.

The optimum fission reactor is six times more fuel efficient and has no catastrophic failure modes. It is a cheap as coal because it does not require expensive safety systems to protect against catastrophic failure modes

A Canadian company Terrestrial Energy has copied the optimum no water reactor, no fuel rod design that was built and tested in the US 50 years ago.

The Terrestrial fission reactor design is a specialized small vessel that can be truck to site that has in six heat exchangers and six 35 horsepower screw pumps.

The fission reactor cans, can be massed produced. New grass roots nuclear plants can be built in four years.

Terrestrial Energy will have three operating fission reactors by the end of 2020.

Terrestrial Energy YouTube

Zero emission is impossible by 2050 and pointless anyway.

Reply to  William Astley
October 28, 2020 5:22 pm

You tube video wont play, stated as `this video has been terminated`

William Astley
Reply to  jono1066
October 28, 2020 5:55 pm

Thanks. jono. Here is a link to another youtube video.

Same subject. This is a the highlights (11 minutes) from a presentation by Terrestrial Energy’s chief technology specialist, David LeBlanc, to a general technical group.

Reply to  William Astley
October 28, 2020 6:27 pm

Love optimistic salesman and his in the 20’s they are only in phase 2 the averages and betting mans money would be on late 30’s.

Jeffrey H Kreiley
October 28, 2020 11:45 am

He knows these countries don’t mean it. Anyway, even if they did, not gonna happen.

October 28, 2020 12:15 pm

Another leader putting reality ahead of emotions. I also have the feeling that most people don’t really understand what net zero means.

Ken Irwin
Reply to  markl
October 28, 2020 1:48 pm

Right on – these are the same people who think that adopting a lower carbon diet will help – Idiots !

Reply to  Ken Irwin
October 28, 2020 2:40 pm

A zero carbon diet.. no less !

They can use that carbon free sugar for sustenance…

comment image

Melvyn Dackombe
Reply to  Ken Irwin
October 29, 2020 3:21 pm

CO2, not carbon.

Bruce Cobb
October 28, 2020 12:57 pm

“Our policies won’t be set in the United Kingdom, they won’t be set in Brussels, they won’t be set in any part of the world other than here.”
And yet, the UN will have plenty of say. Empty words. Withdraw from the Paris Shamcord, and then maybe we’ll believe what you say.

October 28, 2020 1:26 pm

Well, Scott probably will not be around in 2050. No less an authority than Rolling Stone mag has decried the horror taking place in the arctic….why doesn’t anyone care it asks?….I tell them that griff and….and…Greta are on the case…but they are not doing enough obviously….griff for instance posts here where his words go unheeded….and Greta….why Greta will soon be a little old lady.

Wiliam Haas
October 28, 2020 1:32 pm

The reality is that, based on the paleoclimate record and the work done with models, the climate change we have been experiencing is caused by the sun and the oceans over which mankind has no control. Despite the hype, there is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate and there is plenty of scientific rationale to support the conclusion that the climate sensitivity of CO2 is zero. Hence “net zero” will have no effect on climate sy it is not worth the bother.

October 28, 2020 1:53 pm

Carbon, despite being accused of being evil by some, offers to help in the form of calcium carbonate….seems if it is added to paint, the reflectivity of solar radiation is excellent. Ironic, no? Could it be….disperse calcium carbonate in the upper atmosphere and save Louisiana from being “baked”?

Rich Davis
Reply to  T.C. Clark
October 28, 2020 2:16 pm

Do nothing and realize in time that exactly nothing needed to be done.

Patrick MJD
October 28, 2020 2:49 pm

Well done Shouty. Now get on with building reliable coal/gas fired power stations before you lose the next election and before the SH!T really hits the fan in a couple of years.

Patrick MJD
October 28, 2020 2:51 pm

Well done Shouty. Now get on with building coal/gas fired power stations before the next election, that you will lose, and before the SH!T really hits the fan with power supply in a couple of years.

October 28, 2020 2:57 pm

Politicians, like products & services in an open marketplace, need to have a significant “point of difference” to capture the attention of punters.

No point in lining up as just another “me too” offering in a competitive, crowded marketplace.

The more painfully expensive electricity gets for consumers, the more they will be inclined to think –
“what other options are on offer for affordable electricity?”

Remember, Scott Morrison had a successful marketing career before entering politics.

October 28, 2020 3:05 pm

Scott Morrison is a cunning lad and knows that the thing to do is to say the right thing, that the Greens, want to hear and then doing absolutely nothing at all except continue coal and gas exports as usual. Fortunately in reality nothing needs to be done and people are slowly realizing this and looking forward to the warmer weather, time at the beach, more and bigger trees and crops, and more rain.

October 29, 2020 12:59 am

Here’s the reality of the future of Australian power supplies:

‘New South Wales, home to the city of Sydney, has also begun embracing renewable energy in a big way, having recently introduced two renewable energy zones, one north of the city and another to the west of it. Battery storage will play an important role in NSW’s renewable energy plans and the first of those batteries is now scheduled to be installed at the Wallgrove substation in western Sydney.’

Reply to  griff
October 29, 2020 9:37 pm

LOL, you are such a gullible little twerp, griff

Tiny little niche, that doesn’t actually produce any electricity.

Much needed to try to fix the grid stability once unreliable, erratic, intermittent supplies are introduced onto the grid.

Reply to  griff
October 29, 2020 9:40 pm

I really want to see where they are going to put wind turdines in Western Sydney

That’ll be a laugh, for sure !!

Peter K
October 29, 2020 1:07 am

ANZ bank are now the new stupid.
Australian bank ANZ to exit all coal lending by 2030. This is based on the assumption that global temperatures correlate with CO2 emissions. I am sure that ANZ management have the evidence. No one else has.

Ed Zuiderwijk
October 29, 2020 2:25 am

By the time the coal importing countries have gone carbon neutral and survived it, the Aussies will be using nuclear power to convert their coal reserves to synthetic oils because the sane world will be screaming for those. The future’s bright, the future’s black.

Gary Pearse
October 29, 2020 6:10 pm

“…pumped hydro system which climate activists hope will easy the pain of adding more unreliable renewable capacity to Australia’s electric grid.”

Notice the “hope”. This is not an engineering or feasibility word! It is a red flag that engineers didn’t (yet?) produce a definitive feasibility study. I’m going to state unreservedly, this is not going to work. I can read the desperation in what is a retrofit to a failed initial project.

I was asked ~ 40yrs ago to do an audit of a makeover of a failed feasibility study for a mining project that had already opened the mine, installed equipment, had initiated commissioning of the project and found they were only getting about 15% of the planned concentrate design (I won’t tell you the mineral product sought but a resampling of the ore found that the “15%” was a high recovery of what was in the ore).

The “makeover” decided they could also
capture mica as a byproduct to make it pay. A quick assessment of the mica product found it to be unsuitable for every use except as a non-sticking agent for asphalt roofing shingles a low value product <$5/ton (the best mica goes for the sparkle in metallic auto paints and cosmetics, today worth several thousand a ton after sophisticated processing. The audit found that declaring bankruptcy was the most economic option.

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