Taylor’s plan to pitch Australia as ‘investment destination’ at COP26

By Melissa Coade

Friday October 29, 2021

Scott Morrison and Angus Taylor. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

Government leaders representing Australia at the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow plan to promote the country as a ‘safe and reliable investment destination’ for gas, hydrogen and new energy technologies.

Angus Taylor issued a statement ahead of his overseas trip accompanying prime minister Scott Morrison on Thursday. 

The industry, energy and emissions reduction minister said he would present Australia’s ‘strong track record in reducing emissions’ during high level talks with counterparts in Rome, Glasgow (where the COP26 conference will be held) and London over the coming days. 

According to Taylor, another focus of the trip will be to advance Australia’s low emissions technology partnerships and to strengthen cooperation with regional partners. 

“Our approach is focused on developing solutions that will make net zero practically achievable for all countries,” Taylor said. 

“The most important legacy this summit could have is a genuine, global commitment to a step up in collaboration on the technology solutions needed to achieve net zero.”

The minister’s comments were consistent with recent messaging from the Australian federal government that has emphasised technology investment above actual carbon emission reductions. 

In late October Morrison announced that the Coalition government had agreed on a plan for Australia to work towards a net-zero carbon emissions target by 2050 — achieved by reducing the costs of new technologies and easing regulations on identified plantation and forest projects. The slogan for the government’s approach, outlined in the national low emissions technology statement is ‘technology, not taxes’.

Taylor said the focus on technology investment — including another announcement on Friday that a national soil carbon innovation challenge worth $50 billion was open to Australian farmers — was ‘the only way forward’ on the issue of climate change that would unite all nations because it also focused on growing economies. 

“Australia is play a leading role in helping to develop low-emissions technologies, such as clean hydrogen, ultra low  cost solar, carbon capture and storage, low  emissions materials like steel and aluminium, energy storage and soil carbon measurement,” Taylor said. 

“Our focus is on getting new low-emissions technologies to parity with existing approaches – or preferably even cheaper – as soon as possible.

“This is the only way to make net zero emissions achievable for all countries.”

The minister added that Australia would be sharing a revised document to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat for nationally determined contribution (NDC), reaffirming Australia’s commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“This week the government released our plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050,” Taylor said, noting that Australia’s updated NDC included seven low emissions technology stretch goals.

“We are backing this target with practical, responsible action and a clear plan to convert ambition into achievement.”

The federal government also claims that its national climate change plan will position Australia as a ‘new energy economy leader’ in Southeast Asia and the Indo-Pacific.

“Our technology investment roadmap will guide more than $80 billion of total public and private investment over the next decade to accelerate low-emissions technology deployment,” Taylor said. 

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