Treasury and Health concede no climate modelling has been done internally on the Commonwealth's net zero by 2050 pledges

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

The nation's bookkeepers have conceded to playing a minimal part in the Morrison government's climate change modelling and its impact on the economy.

During estimate hearings on Wednesday, Treasury confirmed only two of its workers were involved in the emissions goals announced by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, conceding it had not even conducted an analysis of the climate modelling provided to the government from McKinsey.

Labor senator Jenny McAlister probed Treasury as to why only two workers were seconded to DISER on an issue which is has become politically centered around the impact decarbonising will have on Australia's resource reliant economy.

"Why is that Treasury's advice was confined to seconding two officers and providing some information about the assumptions used in the modelling," Senator McAllister said.

Treasury secretary Steven Kennedy said the department had not yet conducted a detailed analysis of the net zero modelling, nor in his time as secretary, undertook research on climate change and its potential impact on the economy.

"We have not [conducted] a detailed assessment of the McKinsey modelling," he said.

Finance Minister Simon Birmingham made a claim of public interest immunity, to ensure modelling and the economic assumptions within its net zero plan would not be released to the senate.


Senator Birmingham said it was a matter for Energy Minister Angus Taylor.

In Wednesday's question time, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg was grilled over the Treasury's concession of doing no economic analysis of the modelling. However, defended the Coalition's net zero pledge that the transition would be based on the investment of technology.

Mr Frydenberg claimed Treasury gave advice to DISER on the risk to the economy if a net zero target was not agreed to.

"With respect to the advice that Treasury provided to DISER was about the risk premium of not joining the global consensus around net zero by 2050," he said.

Health Department secretary Brendan Murphy in a separate estimates hearing said, there had been no modelling done specifically on net zero by 2050, or had created a working group to look at the health implications caused from climate change.

This story Treasury, Health concede no climate modelling internally first appeared on The Canberra Times.


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