Morrison won't budge on 2030 emission goal

Scott Morrison says Australia is outperforming Canada, the US, Japan and NZ on emissions reduction.
Scott Morrison says Australia is outperforming Canada, the US, Japan and NZ on emissions reduction.

Australia will not budge on its 2030 emissions reduction commitments despite fresh criticism from the British chair of a major global climate change summit.

Scott Morrison will on Thursday travel to Rome for the G20 leaders conference on his way to the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow.

He is armed with a commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, but the government will not raise its 2030 target of a 26 to 28 per cent cut on 2005 levels.

After welcoming the 2050 goal, COP26 President Alok Sharma urged Australia to lift its nationally determined contribution in 2030.

"We've got a plan for Australia. They've got a plan for the UK," the prime minister told reporters in Canberra.

Mr Morrison said Australia was outperforming Canada, the United States, Japan and New Zealand on emissions reduction at the same time as the liquid natural gas industry was expanding.

"That tells you something about our ability to manage the sort of economy we have to manage and emissions reduction, completely different to what the UK's doing," he said.

He suggested UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who praised the 2050 commitment as heroic, had a stronger understanding of Australia's economy than Mr Sharma.

"We'll make Australian decisions in Australia for Australia's interest and that's what I'll be saying in Glasgow," Mr Morrison said.

The federal government has released projections showing emissions will be cut 30 to 35 per cent by 2030 on 2005 levels.

The prime minister said some technologies, which the government is relying on to achieve its 2050 goal, had long lead times.

"You need to put the resources in now for things that could take 10 or even 20 years," he said.

"If you divert your resources away from those types of things that has that 2050 payoff, you actually put the 2050 payoff at risk."

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said just because the government repeatedly used the word plan did not mean it existed.

"The rest of the world won't fall for slogans rather than substance," he told reporters.

Labor continues to pressure the government to release modelling about the 2050 net-zero goal.

Senior industry department official Jo Evans told a Senate estimates hearing the information was not yet suitable for publication.

"We just need to take a little bit of extra time to make sure that it's written clearly and able to be presented well to the Australian public," she said.

But she revealed the work was focused on how changing demand for commodities would affect the economy rather than rising global temperatures.

"We haven't considered the actual impacts of climate change and what that would do to the economy," Ms Evans said.

"But we have looked at the broader benefit and costs of the changes in global demand."

Mr Morrison told parliament modelling would be made public within weeks.

Australia has also ruled out reducing methane emissions 30 per cent by the end of the decade despite the US and Europe pushing for the goal.

Australian Associated Press